Chris Burden's Beam Drop, &c.

Apparently, it's Chris Burden day. Kottke just posted a clean clip of Chris Burden's 1979 work, The Big Wheel, in which a massive, 19th century iron fly wheel is set into rapid motion by a little motorcycle wheel. I think he took it from this longer video of a 1989 Burden retrospective, which includes Samson, in which the museum visitors passing through a turnstile slowly expand a 100-ton jack which is pushing against the gallery's loadbearing walls; and his awesome-looking B-Car, 1976, a 200-lb bicycle/car hybrid with a fabric skin. More of which later.

So no sooner did we finish watching his flying steamroller installed last year at Tate Britain,

than an email announcement arrived for Burden's retrospective at the Middelheim Museum in Antwerp. The "climax" of which, I'm told, will be--or was, since it happened last week--a re-creation of Beam Drop, a work originally executed in New York in 1984 at Art Park. Using a remote controlled latch, Burden dropped steel I-beams into a pit of wet cement.

The Belgian sponsors rather over-enthusiastically proclaim Beam Drop Antwerpen to be at once a "performance," an "action painting" and a "large abstract expressionist sculpture using coincidence and gravity." My favorite part of the videos of the all-day construction is the audience's polite clapping after each beam is dropped, as if they're watching an oversized game of lawn darts. Or quoits. It's Europe, after all.

"Beam Drop" on flickr [flickr]

Since 2001 here at greg.org, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting greg.org that time.

comments? questions? tips? pitches? email
greg [at] greg [dot ] org

find me on twitter: @gregorg

post info

first published: June 5, 2009.

next older post:
June 4th: June 5th, 5th Man

next newer post:
Starting With Chris Burden's TV Ad, Through The Night Softly

recent projects, &c.


pm_social_medium_recent_proj_160x124.jpg
Social Medium:
artists writing, 2000-2015
Paper Monument, Oct. 2016
ed. by Jennifer Liese
buy, $28

madf_twitter_avatar.jpg
Madoff Provenance Project in
'Tell Me What I Mean' at
To__Bridges__, The Bronx
11 Sept - Oct 23 2016
show | beginnings

chop_shop_at_springbreak
Chop Shop
at SPRING/BREAK Art Show
curated by Magda Sawon
1-7 March 2016

do_not_bid_or_buy_iris_sidebar.jpg
eBay Test Listings
Armory – ABMB 2015
about | proposte monocrome, rose

shanzhai_gursky_mb_thumb.jpg
It Narratives, incl.
Shanzhai Gursky & Destroyed Richter
Franklin Street Works, Stamford
Sept 5 - Nov 9, 2014
about | link

therealhennessy_tweet_sidebar.jpg
TheRealHennessy Tweets Paintings, 2014 -
about

sop_red_gregorg.jpg
Standard Operating Procedure
about | buy now, 284pp, $15.99

CZRPYR2: The Illustrated Appendix
Canal Zone Richard Prince
YES RASTA 2:The Appeals Court
Decision, plus the Court's
Complete Illustrated Appendix (2013)
about | buy now, 142pp, $12.99

weeksville_echo_sidebar.jpg
"Exhibition Space" @ apexart, NYC
Mar 20 - May 8, 2013
about, brochure | installation shots


HELP/LESS Curated by Chris Habib
Printed Matter, NYC
Summer 2012
panel &c.


drp_04_gregorg_sidebar.jpg
Destroyed Richter Paintings, 2012-
background | making of
"Richteriana," Postmasters Gallery, NYC

czrpyr_blogads.jpg
Canal Zone Richard
Prince YES RASTA:
Selected Court Documents
from Cariou v. Prince (2011)
about | buy now, 376pp, $17.99

archives