Metropolis II
March 3, 2014 12:48 PM   Subscribe

Metropolis II - A film about a sculpture by Chris Burden
posted by Blazecock Pileon (8 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
It's fun to stand on the viewing area above the piece and watch kids' mouths drop open and their eyes widen when they're dragged reluctantly into the room by their parents.
posted by yoink at 1:14 PM on March 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

I saw this short a few years ago and thought it (Metropolis II) was the coolest thing ever. Still love it, and would really like to see it running live. I don't suppose it ever travels?
posted by Thorzdad at 1:33 PM on March 3, 2014

One time I drove down from the SF bay to Los Angeles just to see Metropolis II in person. It really is fantastic. I don't think I've ever seen another work of art that felt so... fun and alive and joyful — like a gigantic version of playing with LEGO buildings and toy racecars. And all the clatter and noise and motion as the cars go whizzing by, it really distills into one space the feeling of being in a big city. I was grinning the entire time I was in the room. Though I think the only other people as excited as I was were the kids, while the parents stood around stiffly wearing their serious faces.

I've been a fan of Chris Burden ever since I read this great New Yorker article about his violent and polarizing early work in performance art:
“Shoot” [a photograph of him getting shot in the left arm by a friend] was one of a number of perfectly repellent performance pieces of the early nineteen-seventies in which Burden subjected himself to danger, thereby creating a double bind, for viewers, between the citizenly injunction to intervene in crises and the institutional taboo against touching art works.
posted by narain at 2:24 PM on March 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

Awesome double, but still a double.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 3:19 PM on March 3, 2014

People, you have gotta click that link. Click it.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 7:46 PM on March 3, 2014

It looks like this post is gonna stand for whatever reason, so I'll just take the opportunity to remind everyone how fucking adorable Burden was back in the day.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 8:20 PM on March 3, 2014

One of my favorite works of all time is 11 Panes by Gerhard Richter. It's not a tour de force of any sort of technical skill, in fact it's kind of dull, it looks like this, and it is, simply eleven panes of glass propped up in a corner of a gallery at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. However if you go (and you should) take a minute to sit back and watch people interact with it. Adults will stare at it dolefully and seriously for a little while, realize they're actually looking at their own reflection and smile before moving on. Little kids will instantly get it and play around in front of it, watching their multiple reflections dance. This one piece transformed my whole idea of Richter from a dour, wordy, IMPORTANT artist into someone who actually gets it and has a secret fun side. If this isn't true, I don't want to know, because I fucking love sitting there and watching people play, just fucking play, in front of a Richter.

For a very similar reason, I love Burden and his shift from Über-Serious Art (With Capital Letters and MEANING) to his current very playful stuff, that tells more or less the same story, just now with a smile instead of a smirk.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 8:54 AM on March 4, 2014

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