Chris Burden passes away
Los Angeles-based artist Chris Burden passed away at age 69 on Sunday, May 10 of a malignant melanoma—an illness that Burden and his family had been keeping hidden from the public for 18 months, according to a May 10 article in the Los Angeles Times.
Burden is the artist behind the University’s permanent art installation "The Light of Reason" that went up in September. His work was also shown in an exhibit at the Rose Art Museum in the spring of 2014 titled The Master Builder—an exhibit of Burden’s model bridges made out of Erector Set toys.
The Brandeis community got to know Burden on September 10 of last year when he attended the opening of the new exhibits at the Rose and the unveiling of his “Light of Reason.”
Although Burden’s pieces shown at the Rose thus far have been visual art, Burden is also well known for his early career in performance art. In his 1971 performance piece “Shoot,” Burden staged a scene in which his friend shot him in his left arm from 15 feet away.
The performance was filmed on a low quality eight-second film reel. In “Trans-Fixed” (1974), Burden lay on his back on top of a Volkswagen Beetle with both his hands nailed to the car. Burden and the car were visible to the public for two minutes before being pushed back into a garage.
First published on Instagram, the Henry and Lois Foster Director of the Rose Chris Bedford said “That Chris will go down [as] one of the greatest American artists of his generation is self-evident to all of us … A less well-known fact is how gentle, kind and caring he was. The bold artist responsible for ‘Shoot’ is the same man who took great care of all those fortunate enough to work with him, me included. He’ll be sorely missed.”