[April 29 2015]
Chris Burden’s outstanding career has spanned from Claremont, California in the late ‘60s, creating works dealing with the social, political and aesthetic implications of artistic practices that circumvented the material object. Through notable historic moments, featuring violent and often extreme practices—who can forget the images of a young Burden being shot, locked up, electrocuted or cut?—Burden created a name for himself as one of the most important artists of the post-war period. At Gagosian Le Bourget, Burden presents his first solo in Paris in nearly two decades, with a series of recent works. Having shifted from his elusive and radical early works to monumental sculptures dealing with the raw physicality and technicity of buildings, structures and vehicles, Burden’s show comprises of large-scale models, blueprints and constructions spanning from 2003-2013. The central piece, Porsche with Meteorite (2013), consists of a restored 1974 Porsche 914 suspended mid-air on the opposite end of a scale, perfectly levelled against a “small” 390 pound meteorite. Through radically different in its manifest form, Burden’s work still continues to challenge the limits of physiological strength and the emotional suspense that goes alongside it.
Text and photo Sabrina Tarasoff