Notes and Notices

On art, architecture and design

1/13/2012

Must see: Chris Burden's Metropolis II

Posted by Carren Jao Pineda |

Art lovers and children at heart will enjoy a little (or should I say large) something opening at the LACMA tomorrow. After seven years of constructing and finding the means to pay for it, artist Chris Burden will unveil Metropolis II, a bigger, better version of his 2006 Metropolis I.

The large-scale kinetic sculpture consists of about 1,200 custom-made toy cars zooming through eighteen roadways at about 240 mph. The cars zip by an eclectic mix of buildings made from wood blocks, tiles, Legos and even Eames house of cards.

Standing just outside the sculpture, one easily gets swept away by the sheer frenetic energy. No wonder cars were the coolest thing in Los Angeles decades ago. After my sheer delight at the sculpture fades though, I find myself thinking, "If this is autopia at work, where is everyone?" Stuck in their cars zooming past life. Speedy blurs can be a joyful thing, but only for a time. If this was supposed to be Los Angeles in a forgone future, I'm glad we're not going in that direction.

Enjoy and contemplate a life lived with the need for speed at LACMA starting tomorrow. Here's what I wrote about the sculpture for Dwell.

View from the top.

Lovely addition, Eames house of cards.

Made of glass and tile, this is my second favorite building in the sculpture.

The city in its full skyscraper glory.

Cars hurling to somewhere, we hope.
Here are more of my photos over at Flickr.

Chris Burden's Metropolis II is on view at the LACMA only on Fridays and weekends. Specifically:

Fridays: 12:30–2 pm; 3–4:30 pm; 5–6:30 pm; 7–8:30 pm
Weekends: 11:30–1:00 pm; 2–3:30 pm; 4–5:30 pm; 6–7:30 pm


LACMA: Los Angeles County Museum of Art
On view starting Jan 14, 2012

5905 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Phone: 323-857-600

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