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LACMA Now Showing Metropolis II by Artist Chris Burden

Monday 16th January 2012

 
Artist, Chris Burden, has a new work on show at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Metropolis II is a huge kinetic sculpture that displays a colourful network of roads and buildings, with cars and trains zooming about the artificial cityscape. The sculpture is Burden's vision of what life in LA will be like in the next 5 or 10 years.
 
Chris Burden is an artist who is perhaps best known for his shocking performance works of the 1970's. First there was Shoot, from 1971, in which Burden was shot in the arm by a friend with a .22 caliber rifle at a distance of 15 feet. Then there was his 1974 work, Trans-fixed, in which he was nailed to the back of a Volkswagen bug, in a Christ-like crucifixion. 
 
His latest work is perhaps less controversial, but engaging nevertheless. Metropolis II is composed of over 1,000 miniature vehicles, 18 roads, a tiny commuter train line and a range of skyscrapers and other buildings, all on a micro scale. 
 
The cars and trains whizz around the sculpture, powered by electronic conveyor belts and magnets, as a representation of the chaotic frenzy of life in the modern city.  The noise that the sculpture makes, due to the continuous flow of traffic, is said to invoke a certain level of stress for the viewer, which is also linked to living in today's hectic and dynamic urban landscapes. 
 
At 10 feet tall, and around 30 feet wide, Metropolis II has taken four years to build, with Burden working away on it at his studio out in the Topanga Canyon artists colony, before it was transported to LA. The sculpture now stands in its own gallery, and opened to the public last Saturday. 

Posted on January 16th 2012 on 05:40pm

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