new-york

Chris Burden

Ronald Feldman Gallery

If you take seriously Morse Peckham’s antiformalist stance that the artist is “raging for chaos” rather than order, Chris Burden might bethought a good example. But is he? Is Burden really stepping out of line? Isn’t Burden playing with danger—for example, shooting and attempting to electrocute himself? Isn’t he involved in game-playing that is not only tokenly dangerous and significant within art? Shooting himself through the arm, as gory color photographs of Burden’s best-known work Shoot bear record, would in another context group him with Leopold Von Sacher-Masoch, alongside the comparatively gentle self-biting of Acconci, or the more Angst-ridden, mysterious dead German artist Schwarzkogler, who sequentially mutilated his own penis. Burden, to his credit, stays above the belt. One trouble with the more sensational of Burden’s art of rule violation, rather than rule extension, is that

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