OMFG!!! Chris Burden’s Metropolis II measures 10×28 feet and includes 30-40 buildings, 13 railroad tracks, 18 car lanes, and 1,100 toy cars. Approximately 100,000 cars circulate through this dense city each hour.
Born in Boston and now based in Los Angeles, Chris Burden is a well-known and controversial performance and installation artist. Much of his work requires greats feats of patience, strength and/or stamina; Metropolis II apparently took four years to build and will be on view at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art starting this weekend.
So, is Burden’s vision of an urban, car-centric existence exciting and optimistic, or dystopian and menacing? Are the hustle and bustle and constant motion fun? I suppose that depends on your point of view toward cars and cities. The installation is prone to cars crashing or falling off the tracks, requiring two full-time assistants to monitor the art and maintain a sense of order. Wow.