Sunday, September 22, 2013

Thoughts on Chris Burden 1

Chris Burden continuously questions the established order. One of my favorites is You'll Never See My Face In Kansas City, 1971. With this piece he discusses notions of celebrity. Paid engagements that require access to a celebrity and the idea of the artist becoming more important than the work are two thoughts that come to mind. Burden dons a ski mask whenever he is not behind the panel located in the gallery. He no doubt alarmed people during his stay due to the inability to perform facial recognition. Not only are ski masks associated with burglars, a face has a lot of information that would bode well for one to read accurately; the intentions of said individual are important to the group and the face will usually tell the story.

Chris Burden was present during the opening, but not accessible. If you were able to catch a few moments with him around town, your conversation, visually, was one-sided. You, as a patron/fan/gallerist, were stripped of the facial cues involved in every human interaction. Mind you, this if you were able to track him down.

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