Diecimila, 1977, Chris Burden, 1977, ed. 35, Crown Point Press, image: contemporaryartnow
In 1977 Chris Burden made his first print with Crown Point Press. Turning the intensive printmaking process into what David Platzker called, “hands-off performative activity,” Burden asked Crown Point to perfectly replicate an Italian 10,000-lira note.
The 10,000-lira note had Michelangelo’s portrait on it, and required seven-color photoetching front and back, plus handmade paper that included the security watermark. Diecimila was printed life-size, but on a much larger sheet of paper. Most images of the print don’t show the sheet, but it feels like an important element.
I hadn’t known of Diecimila before, but beyond the recreation, this sheet size caught my eye. It was similar to the way I made Untitled (Tanya), the photocopy & graphite edition of Cady Noland’s photocopied drawing Tanya. If I find out I’ve inadvertently repeated a Chris Burden joint, I swear, I’m going to get into my handmade bike-car and drive away.
And speaking of repeating, Diecimila was repeated in a digitally produced facsimile sequel in 2010 by none other than Jonathan Monk, who never met a 1960s or 70s-era artwork he didn’t like enough to repeat it.
Monk’s Diecimila was published by MFC Michele Didier in the same edition size, same, portfolio–and with Chris Burden’s signature. Monk signed a separate certificate.
Besides the printing technique, the one sure way you can tell Burden’s Diecimila from Monk’s Diecimila is that Monk’s are available, and Burden’s are sold out.
Diecimila, 1977, Chris Burden [crownpoint]
Diecimila, 2010, Jonathan Monk, EUR3000 [micheledidier.com]