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Burden 2016
Description: A probing portrait of Chris Burden, an artist who took constructive expression to the limits and risked his life in the name of art.
Released: 05 May 2017 Director: Richard Dewey, Timothy Marrinan Writers: N/A Actors: Chris Burden, Marina Abramovic, Vito Acconci, Larry Bell Genres: Documentary, Biography
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Burden Reviews:

Chris Burden warped the globe to his visions of performance art. While there were times of uncomfortability, there were times of nice amusement and awe. Burden was a misunderstood boy without a doubt. He had a method of seeing things in methods no one else did, whether that be a nice thing or a terrible thing. Being fresh to the performance art world, this documentary should scare you. Burden does things that in today's standard should have him considered to be place in a psych unit. However, I admire his ambition and bravery through it all. Chris Burden as a performance artist is intimidating to tell the least, but Chris Burden as a sculpture artist is so warming. He has produced so many marvelous installations for the public to see. Burden changed the art globe without even knowing what he was starting. While he did cause a lot of controversy, he still continued his work without censorship. His "pieces don't deliever answers, they ask questions," is almost an understatement. Out of ten stars, I would rate this an eight out of ten. Personally, I found it very interesting to receive a type of behind-the-scenes with Chris Burden, because you don't everytime receive to hear an artist describe their work and it means a lot to me to know. While the documentary has a massive undertone of toxic masculinity, it shows who Chris Burden was, a blessing in disguise.


Burden is directed by Richard Dewey and Timothy Marrinan and showcases the life of the artist Chris Burden and his career which ranges from performance, sculpting, and installation. The film shows his many attempts to reach fresh boundaries in the art scene. This makes the viewer question if we could call his violent, life-endangering work art and how broad the definition for art is. The documentary is structured chronologically with Chris Burden's life from his experimental college days to his remarkable installations towards his final decade. It has cross-cutting between newly-documented interviews with first hand accounts and older footage of Chris in his youth. The viewpoints the filmmakers were able to receive for this biography really makes you feel like you knew who he was and you will have problem not becoming an immediate fan. Chris Burden had opposers who didn't think his work could be classified as art but the act of a madman. Purposefully putting yourself at risk in order to convey a message didn't go well with mainstream art audiences in the seventies. Chris however does mention the similarities to notable artists when they were experimenting and attempting techniques never seen before. He argues that art could be about pushing the bar and making a special impact in the culture. Towards the latter end of his life is where Chris proves his spot in a list of prominent artists. He stated how he admired sculptures in how they require action from the viewer to analyze work from all angles unlike a 2-dimensional painting. He takes this concept to the extreme when looking at his works which contain Metropolis II and Medusa's Head. It is quite astonishing the feature and craftsmanship in both of these works and which also don't have a message requiring the gamble of someone's life.


You don't have to be familiar with; or even like, the artist to search something meaningful in this movie, nor have familiarity with his works to search fascination within the confines of its premise. This film asks a fundamental question, what is art? Then drops the viewer down a rabbit hole of what can often be a confusing kaleidoscope of ideas. The very act of determining meaning, validity and depth of purpose from these portrayed pieces is in itself a type of interpretive dance, which alone defines the feelings felt by the artists audiences the globe over. It begets controversy, which is itself a catalyst for conversation. Either way, these acts portrayed created a wave of phycological movement that inspired many, even if only to ask such fundamental questions as: "what is art?"No matter if you search the acts depicted to be art, or just demented physically realized fever dreams worthy of no more thought than that of acts performed by inhabitants in your local asylum, you could at least be entertained, and at most inspired to think.



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