Chris Burden - Bridges and Bullets
Indo-China Bridge, 2002
Stainless steel reproduction Mysto Type I Erector parts,
15-1/4 x 45 x 8-1/2 inches (38.7 x 114.3 x 21.6 cm)
Ed. of 12

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Opening reception: Thursday, July 10, 2003 6 – 9pm

Gagosian Gallery is pleased to present Chris Burden's new group of bridges based on the technology, as well as the design concepts of the Mysto Erector metal construction system, a turn of the century toy. Burden will also exhibit another new edition, a series of bullets cast in 22 karat gold.

Chris Burden has been interested in building models as discrete objects as well as entire fantasy environments and societies, as seen in such works as Medusa's Head, 1990 and Pizza City, 1996. In both these works the child-like fascination with the act of building is matched with the creation of an imaginative world.

Burden's particular interest in bridge construction reflects his fascination with man's basic urge to overcome barriers, to master the forces of nature, to speed travel, link communities, to widen horizons. With the re-creation of seven basic Mysto Erector parts, fabricated in stainless steel, Chris Burden, in collaboration with Fred Hoffman Fine Art, has undertaken a new series of bridges, produced in edition. The minimalist Indo-China Bridge and the mechanically complex Tower of London Bridge are both model versions of the actual historic bridges. Also included are two truss bridges, the 21' Truss Bridge and the Antique Bridge. Both make the most efficient use of Mysto Erector parts to illustrate the principal of a typical truss bridge. The dramatic and graceful 32 foot Curve Bridge, using over 10,000 parts, tests the mechanical and aesthetic boundaries of what can actually be constructed with the seven different Mysto Erector parts.

The gallery's rear space will feature Burden's Gold Bullets – ten different bullets cast in 22K gold. The bullets are separated into two categories: Roundies and Pointies, referring to their predominant physical characteristic. The Gold Bullets are produced in an edition of 10. Each set consists of 5 Roundies and 5 Pointies, displayed in two small vitrines.

Both the bullets and the bridges are fabricated from metal. How the two metals are used and the objects themselves are diametrically opposed. The metal in the bridges consists of stamped, lightweight stainless steel parts. These parts are used in multiplicity to form substantial, yet lacey bridge structures. The Gold Bullets use metal to form small, dense objects. Bridges are complex and bring people together. Bullets are simple and separate people.

For more information, please contact the gallery.