Tracing the Life and Work of an Artist in 'Burden'

With "Burden," filmmakers Richard Dewey and Timothy Marrinan create a retrospective of Chris Burden, whose work made headlines for his sometimes-dangerous performances pieces in the '70s.
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With "Burden," filmmakers Richard Dewey and Timothy Marrinan create a retrospective of Chris Burden, whose work made headlines for his sometimes-dangerous performances pieces in the '70s.

Interpreting the life and work of an artist as a young man (and as a mid-aged man, and then as an older man facing his own illness) is a complicated effort — made even more challenging by the fact that artist Chris Burden resisted timelines and linearity in his own artistic endeavors. Yet the directors of the film

Burden

manage to highlight the provocative, attention-grabbing, creative process that defined Burden’s work as an artist, even though he passed away just after the film was being finalized.

With 

Burden

, filmmakers Richard Dewey and Timothy Marrinan create a retrospective of Burden, whose work made headlines for his sometimes-dangerous performances pieces in the '70s. He then reinvented himself in subsequent decades as a creator of compelling installations, such as the set of antique streetlights that stand outside the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

By looking at his wide range of sculptures, art installations and performance pieces, the film offers a sense of who Burden was both as an artist and as a person, where his ideas originated from, what it was like to visit his home studio in Topanga Canyon studio outside of L.A. where a key conversation piece is a plane hanging from the rafters.

To read more about the film,

click here

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