Burden – 2017
Director: Richard Dewey, Timothy Marrinan
Tuesday, April 4, 5:30 PM
Friday, April 7, 9:00 PM
Chris Burden guaranteed his place in art history in 1971 with a period of often dangerous and at times stomach-churning performances. After having himself shot, locked up in a locker for five days, electrocuted, and crucified on the back of a VW bug, Burden reinvented himself as the creator of truly mesmerizing installations and sculptures, from a suspended gigantic flywheel that seemingly spins on its own, to an assemblage of antique streetlights rewired for solar energy and illuminated outside the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. In “Burden”, Timothy Marrinan and Richard Dewey look at the artist’s works and private life with an innovative mix of still-potent videos of his 70s performances, personal videos and audio recordings, friends, fellows students and colleagues, critics’ comments and latter day footage at his Topanga Canyon studio, all peppered with his thoughts and musings through the years.
In glimpsing the doc’s larger picture, one can better grasp how art that sometimes once seemed masochistic or simply attention-getting makes sense in an overall arc that proceeded quite logically from early expressions of internal/external strife to eventual, playful harmoniousness. -Dennis Harvey, Variety