“Joe the Lion”—David Bowie’s song about Chris Burden—is a tribute to the seminal performance artist’s early days, when his body was a laboratory and canvas for bullets, nails, starvation, and potential electrocution. As a student at UC Irvine, Burden didn’t wait around for the bullies; he stuffed himselfinto a locker. Hitting his heyday during the rise of video art, his pieces have been well-documented, and today his Urban Light sculpture is the number one selfie spot in Los Angeles.
Join Richard Dewey and Timothy Marrinan at the LACMA screening of their 2016 documentary BURDEN, followed by a conversation with the directors.
BURDEN features interviews with Marina Abramovic, Ed Moses, Alexis Smith, Larry Bell, Billy Al Benston, Robert Irwin, BarbaraSmith, Peter Schjeldahl, Jonathan Gold, Ed Ruscha, Paul Schimmel, FrankGehry, Christopher Knight, and the late Vito Acconci.
BURDEN, Thursday, May 4, at 7:30 pm.
BING THEATER, LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles.
The daily mundanity of Los Angeles (or any other city) cannot be appreciated while riding in a car. In the slog of walking north on Alameda from 8th Street, on my way to the Arts District, I stopped at a warehouse/storefront—one of hundreds in the area—selling shelf upon shelf of objects, as far as the eye could see. Plastic, metal, animated, illuminated, fabricated—a catastrophic mountain of use and re-use later invoked by JASON RHOADES: INSTALLATIONS, 1994–2006, an exhibition that takes over most of the gallery space at the Hauser & Wirth complex. According to a wall text, Rhoades saw “shopping as a sculptural gesture.” This is the studio, its production, and the cutting-room floor all in one.
“[Jason Rhoades’] work was way more complicated than this idea that it was about California, or about America….There was kind of a fog in it….It wasn’t so easy to find your way into it sometimes.” — Paul McCarthy*
Divided into six installations—Swedish Erotica and Fiero Parts (1994), My Brother / Brancuzi (1995), The Creation Myth (1998), My Madinah: In pursuit of my ermitage… (2004), The Black Pussy…and the Pagan Idol Workshop (2005), and Tijuanatanjierchandelier(2006)—the show was organized by Paul Schimmel, his last before departing the gallery in February 2017.
JASON RHOADES: INSTALLATIONS, 1994–2006, through May 21, 2017.
HAUSER & WIRTH LOS ANGELES, 901 East 3rd Street, Arts District.