Chris Burden (b. 1946)
Chris Burden (b. 1946)

747, Bed Piece, Prelude to 220 or 110, Prelude to 220 or 110

Chris Burden (b. 1946)
747, Bed Piece, Prelude to 220 or 110, Prelude to 220 or 110
four photographs--each signed, numbered and dated consecutively 'Artist Proof Chris Burden (71, 71, 72, 73)' lower right
gelatin silver print
three prints each: 15½ x 12in. (39.4 X 30.5cm.)
one print: 12½ x 15in. (31.7 x 38.1cm.)
Printed circa 1974. This work is an artist's proof from an edition of five of which only one other vintage suite was realized. (4)
Fred Hoffman Gallery, Santa Monica
A. Ayres and P. Schimmel, Chris Burden: A Twenty Year Survey, Hong Kong 1988, p. 50 (Prelude to 220, or 110 illusrated); p. 55 ( Bed Piece illustrated); p. 59 (747 illustrated)
P. Noever, Chris Burden: Beyond the Limits, Stuttgart 1996, p. 201 (Bed Piece illustrated); p. 205 (747 illustrated)

Lot Essay

"Performances and installations that intentionallly challenge the imponderabilities of chance provided the framework for further pieces. In Prelude to 220 or 110(1971), Burden lay screwed to a stone floor with copper cuffs on hands and feet and two buckets of...water next to him rigged up to 220 volts. The tension in this piece lay in the possibility of viewers tipping over the buckets on purpose or by accident...A danger latent in our daily lives became an open experiment in an installation that challenged the imaginations and self-control of the visitors"

In Bed Piece (1970), Burden worked within the conventional framework of a gallery exhibition space. He was provided with a single bed and during the opening went to bed. During the 22 days of the show, Burden spoke to no one and was provided with food, water, and toilet facilities. "In statements about Bed Piece (1972), Burden remarked that the first few days were extremely strenuous and painful, but by the second week the days passed that by the end of the show he was loathe to get up. Within the plain walls of the gallery, a cumulative lethargy bordering on an ecstatic death wish transmitted an energetic tension that forced Robert Irwin to leave his studio next door. This reaction is not merely anecdotal: It shows that Bed Piece...produced such extreme spiritual energy over a prolonged period of twenty-two days that it became an almost unbearable psycho-physical challenge not only for the artist but also for those around him.

At the beach in Los Angles Burden fired a pistol at a Boeing 747 jet as it was taking off...before firing at the aircraft, he had investigated the possible consequences of shooting live ammunition at a passenger carrier. Burden sees the swelling tension of imminent danger as the driving, catalytic force of his work."

Johannes Lothar Schröder, Chris Burden: Beyond the limits, "Science, Heat and Time", Vienna 1996, pp. 193-209.

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