Tagged: chris burden

Calendar. 12.22.09.


The Big Wheel, 1979, by Chris Burden. Part of the group show, Collection: MoCA’s First Thirty Years, at MoCA in Los Angeles, through May 3rd. (Image courtesy of MoCA, via Art Observed.)

Bizarre Coincidence: Hole-in-the-floor edition.


Such a ‘k Hole: Urs Fischer’s You, 2007 at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise. (Image courtesy of Gavin Brown.)

In New York Magazine‘s end-of-the-year wrap-up-of-everything-in-the-NYC-universe issue, critic Jerry Saltz wrote that seeing Urs Fischer’s giant hole-in-the-ground at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise in Chelsea was “transforming and shocking.” He added:

Fischer had torn up a gallery, forcing us to look into his own “hole.” But presciently, it was just as much a precipice for us and for the art world, since this was going to be the state of the world for the year to come: We’d all be poised on the edge — politically, psychically, financially, and aesthetically. The stark gesture was simultaneously surreal, loving, violent, and audacious. Fischer shattered perceptual space, destabilized our relationship to art and art galleries, overturned ideas about the market, and made us understand that all that is solid melts into air, that something momentous was coming.

Last fall, in his original review of the piece, Saltz described it as “Herculean,” “splendid” and “brimming with meaning and mojo.” He added that this “bold act” would make the viewer “look at galleries in a new way.”

I gotta be honest: I wasn’t convinced then, and I’m not convinced now. But one thing’s for sure: Fischer’s hole felt a lot less prescient when I discovered that it has a predecessor. Last month, when I rolled up to L.A.’s Museum of Contemporary Art, I got to ogle a 2008 redo of Chris Burden’s 1986 installation, Exposing the Foundation of the Museum, a series of three holes in the museum floor that the MOCA lit describes as “a critical response to the institution of art itself.” Looks like Fischer was out-holed. By some dude in L.A. — 22 years ago.


Exposing the Foundation of the Museum, 1986/2008, by Chris Burden, at MOCA, as part of the Geffen Contemporary’s Index: Conceptualism in California from the Permanent Collection. Today’s the last day to see this piece, by the way, so get over there! (Image courtesy of MOCA.)

Art for Stoners: L.A. museums edition.


Visual Molasses: A figure comes into focus very, very sloooowly in a Kevin Hanley video piece at MoCA. Hang around long enough and you’ll wonder if you’re seeing things. (Photos by C-M.)

Just because one L.A. museum is in the middle of a financial freefall doesn’t mean that there isn’t buzz-inducing art to be seen. At MoCA, in a corner of the Conceptualism in California show at the Geffen Contemporary there is a meltingly slow piece by Kevin Hanley, as well as a black-and-white, super-fast Bruce Conner number that has a total 2 a.m. music video kind of feel. Better yet: it’s comprised of three monitors. I coulda hung out there all afternoon.

Across town, at LACMA, there’s Chris Burden’s Urban Light installation. I know that this piece is far from new (it debuted in February), but I managed to spend a bit of time hanging out with this sculpture at dusk today and it was damn beautiful. The best part: anybody can wander around this thing, 24 hours a day. Perfect for a late-night hangout, especially if you’ve got a Slurpee in hand.


Eve Ray Forever, 1965-2006 by Bruce Conner. Quick cuts. Lots of nudity. Yeah.


Chris Burden’s Urban Light. Lampposts all in rows. Duuuude.

Late addition:

How could I forget? Marcel Duchamp’s Roto Relief: Optical Discs, at the Norton Simon. You are getting sleepy… On view through Dec. 8.