Like his now-iconic light sculpture outside of the Los Angeles Country Museum of Art, Chris Burden’s ‘Buddha’s Fingers’ is composed of cast-iron street lamps that once lined LA streets. In Gagosian Gallery, they’re clustered like the titular fruit (Buddha’s hand) and are arranged to maximize the blaze of light. (At 980 Madison Ave through Feb 20th).
Chris Burden, installation view of Buddha’s Fingers, cast iron, glass, electrical wiring, 142 x 108 x 108 inches, 2014 – 15.
I wanted to do something involving nighttime, that was my first thought when the project was assigned. I walk to my car across campus in the dark most of the time, as my classes run past sundown, so safety has always been a concern.
As I was developing the idea, I really just enjoyed the concept of clouds of text. I showed my sister and she pointed out that the street is empty, but filled with words - so that led me to the idea of being in a crowd, but still feeling very alone.
This feeling is a phenomenon that I personally find very interesting and so bitterly lonely, so the project shifted more to this idea of loneliness. Here are some works I looked into for inspiration:
Brassa’s chilling night photography:
I was really digging the idea of the single street lamp, which led me to Chris Burden’s Urban Light sculpture exhibit:
I also really love the atmosphere fog creates, as it enhances that feeling of loneliness, so that led me to Simon Christen’s project Adrift, featuring the morning mist of San Francisco: