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Chris Burden: Shot With His Own Gun
04:37 pm

This week, Roger Ebert revisits one of his earlier pieces on conceptual artist Chris Burden, and turns it into a lovely meditation on the role of the artist in society:

Were these people all frequent visitors to the museum, or to art exhibitions in general?  Five years after the 1960s ended, were they now drawn to a man whose work seemed to negate love and music and flowers and—anything at all?  Burden was not of the Woodstock Generation.  His art perhaps said that art was a mockery.  That it was about the artist, who when fully committed was not engaged in life at all, but was on Pause.

One of Burden’s more infamous works was his possibly Vietnam-critical piece, “Shoot” (below).  In it, Burden was shot in the arm by an assistant standing five meters away.  After the “performance” was over, Burden was taken to a psychiatrist.

34 years later, on campus at UCLA, graduate student Joseph Deutch attempted a similar stunt.  The fallout lead, one month later, to the resignation of professor Chris Burden, who likened the piece to an act of “domestic terrorism,” and urged Deutch’s expulsion.

Bonus: Chris Burden’s Big Wheel

From Roger Ebert’s Journal: The Agony Of The Body Artist

Posted by Bradley Novicoff
04:37 pm



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