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Chris Burden

The Heart: Open or Closed

February 13–March 27, 2010
Rome

Installation view Artwork © Chris Burden

Installation view

Artwork © Chris Burden

Installation view Artwork © Chris Burden

Installation view

Artwork © Chris Burden

Installation view Artwork © Chris Burden

Installation view

Artwork © Chris Burden

Installation view Artwork © Chris Burden

Installation view

Artwork © Chris Burden

Installation view Artwork © Chris Burden

Installation view

Artwork © Chris Burden

Works Exhibited

Chris Burden, Nomadic Folly, 2001 (detail) Wood platform, 4 cloth and metal umbrellas, woven carpets, braided ropes and pillows, silken fabrics, glass and metal lamps, and CD player and speakers, 11 ½ × 20 × 20 feet (3.5 × 6.1 × 6.1 m)© Chris Burden

Chris Burden, Nomadic Folly, 2001 (detail)

Wood platform, 4 cloth and metal umbrellas, woven carpets, braided ropes and pillows, silken fabrics, glass and metal lamps, and CD player and speakers, 11 ½ × 20 × 20 feet (3.5 × 6.1 × 6.1 m)
© Chris Burden

Chris Burden, Dreamer's Folly, 2010 (detail) Cast iron gazebos and lace fabric, 136 × 164 × 223 inches (345.4 × 416.6 × 566.4 cm)© Chris Burden

Chris Burden, Dreamer's Folly, 2010 (detail)

Cast iron gazebos and lace fabric, 136 × 164 × 223 inches (345.4 × 416.6 × 566.4 cm)
© Chris Burden

About

Gagosian is pleased to present Chris Burden’s first exhibition in Rome in more than thirty years.

Burden continues his interest in built structures and the role they play in reflecting cultures. In three individual but interrelated works, he turns his attention to the beauty and metaphorical possibilities of the architectural folly.

At one end of the gallery Burden has recreated Nomadic Folly (2001). First presented at the Istanbul Biennial in 2001, this installation is his fantasy of a cultivated nomad’s tent. The structure is comprised of a large wooden deck made of Turkish cypress and four huge umbrellas. Visitors can relax and linger in this tentlike structure, replete with opulent handmade carpets, braided ropes, hanging glass and metal lamps, and rich, sensuous wedding fabrics embroidered with sparkling threads and traditional patterns. Soothing, seductive Turkish-Armenian music spills from the tent’s interior. At the other end of the gallery is Dreamer’s Folly (2010), a series of three highly ornamental cast-iron gazebos reminiscent of those common to traditional English gardens. The three gazebos have been reconfigured to form one structure. Lacy “tree of life” fabrics are draped around the exterior to complete a beautiful sanctuary in which to dream.

But the calm and beauty of this environment is violently disrupted by the video projection The Rant (2006), where Burden’s goggled face appears in close-up and many times larger than life, hovering just above water. In this performance he is a ranting xenophobic preacher delivering a short, intense message in French (with Italian subtitles), an impassion rejection of the Other.

Like all of Burden’s exhibitions, The Heart: Open or Closed resonates with ambiguity on many levels. This disarmingly beautiful installation may be his most tender and humanistic to date, pointing to the beauty in the heart of two different cultures and the hate that can divide them.

Gagosian è lieta di annunciare la prima mostra di Chris Burden a Roma in oltre trenta anni.

In The Heart: Open or Closed l’artista prosegue la sua ricerca sulle costruzioni architettoniche e sul ruolo che queste ricoprono nel riflettere differenti culture. In tre opere individuali ma in relazione fra loro, l’artista esplora l’estetica e le possibilità metaforiche di architetture stravaganti.

Da un lato della sala ovale Burden ricrea Nomadic Folly (2001). Presentata per la prima volta nel settembre 2001 alla Settima Biennale Internazionale di Istanbul, questa installazione è la sua interpretazione fantastica di una sofisticata tenda nomade. La struttura è composta da un’ampia piattaforma in legno di cipresso e da quattro grandi ombrelloni. I visitatori possono soffermarsi e rilassarsi sotto la tenda rivestita di sontuosi tappeti e decorata da corde intrecciate, lampade e oggetti in vetro e metallo, ricche stoffe tradizionali ricamate con fili scintillanti. Una dolce e seducente musica turco-armena si diffonde dall’interno.

Nell’altro lato della galleria si erge il nuovo lavoro Dreamer’s Folly (2010), una serie di tre ornati gazebi in ghisa che ricordano l’architettura tipica di un bucolico belvedere in un giardino all’inglese. I tre gazebi sono disposti in modo da creare uno spazio unico in cui drappeggi e ricami raffiguranti l’Albero della Vita, offrono al visitatore un magnifico santuario in cui sognare.

La calma e la bellezza di entrambe le strutture è interrotta dalla video proiezione The Rant (2006). In questo lavoro un primo piano ingrandito del volto di Burden emerge appena sopra il pelo dell’acqua per declamare, nel ruolo di un predicatore xenofobo, un breve ma intenso messaggio in francese di un appassionato rifiuto dell’Altro.

Come tutte le mostre di Burden, The Heart: Open or Closed suggerisce numerose ambiguità. La grazia disarmante di questa installazione, forse una delle opere più sensibili ed umane di Burden, trasmette la bellezza di due culture differenti e l’odio che può dividerle.