Chris Burden’s kinetic sculpture, Metropolis II, opens at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on January 14th, 2012, as an ongoing new exhibit, and will stay at the museum for at least the next 10 years. After four years of construction in his Topanga Canyon home, Burden’s vision of the future depicts multi-colored cars, buses, and trains speeding up and slowing down with highly limited amounts of freedom along aluminum and steel tracks.
Standing 10 feet tall and 30 feet wide, pathways zoom past skyscrapers and other buildings like tiny roller coasters. Tension builds from the mechanical noises given off by the sculpture to depict stressful modern urban living. Burden hoped to capture the frenetic energy and feel of a bustling metropolis, as opposed to merely constructing a physical model. 1100 miniature cars speed through the steel-beamed city at 240 scale miles per hour, along an intricate system of 18 roadways, which includes a 6-lane freeway and train tracks. Run on three ½ hp DC motors, the city model consists of Legos, Lincoln Logs, Dado Cubes, glass, and other materials Burden procured from various stores.
Chris Burden also created “Urban Light”, the 202 antique streetlight sculpture popularly planted at the entrance of LACMA, enjoyed by the public and featured in many Hollywood films. Escape traffic gridlock and embrace Burden’s vision at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art presented at 1½ hour intervals on Fridays from 12:30pm-8:30pm and weekends from 11:30am-7:30pm.