Wednesday, September 23, 2015


I only just learned that my favorite performance artist Chris Burden passed away this last May. He was the Iggy Pop of the art world, a factoid I noted in my book "Punk Rock 'n' Roll," written in 1977, published in 1978 during the week the Sex Pistols broke up. 

from PUNK ROCK 'N' ROLL by Heather Harris, 1978

Chris Burden, now acclaimed for his magnificent installation of oldskool city street lights in front of the Los Angeles Museum of Art was a performance and installation artist who specialized in personal risk, personal violence and personal vulnerability. Known for having himself shot in the arm or crawling through broken glass for assorted pieces, the one depicted above, The Visitation, 1974, was much more personal and clandestine.  As his contribution to a group show, he sat unannounced in the basement of the art museum in very little light, and would talk to anyone who found him there for as long as he or she liked. He only had about 15 viewers of this piece. 
Below, four fair use excerpts of his book 
 Chris Burden 1974-1977. (click pix for full compositions and to read his explanations of these specific pieces.)

Another personal fave was "Full Financial DIsclosure" wherein he did just that, making himself incredibly vulnerable to the Internal Revenue Service of the United States who are known to mad dog fine artists even without such provocation. Rest in peace Chris Burden.

In tribute to him, I humbly offer my just created piece "38 year old phone numbers of well known Punk musicians that were contacted for my punk book." Are the numbers still viable? Will I get sued?

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