In Los Angeles, where traffic and traffic jams are synonymous with the daily pattern of life, it’s no surprise that LACMA would be the home for Metropolis II, Chris Burden’s latest piece, which is a dynamic cityscape interwoven with elaborate system of 18 roadways, including one 6 lane freeway, and HO scale train tracks. In Burden’s piece, 1,100 custom manufactured cars (think Matchbox or Hot Wheels) attached by a small magnet are brought up a conveyor belt and then let go at the crest to (by the power of gravity) speed along the roadways at a scale speed of 240 mph. According to Burden (via LACMA’s website), “The noise, the continuous flow of the trains, and the speeding toy cars, produces in the viewer the stress of living in a dynamic, active and bustling 21st Century city.”
This is Burden’s second instillation at LACMA. His first was Urban Light, the iconic collection of street lamps on LACMA’s South Piazza.
See Metropolis II on Fridays and throughout the weekend. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., L.A., 323.857.6000. lacma.org