Chris Burden, Shoot

Chris Burden’s Metropolis II is considered the most expansive Hot Wheels set-up ever conceived. This amazingly intricate installation using old Hot Wheels toy racing cars by Burden (a performance artist most famous for endurance pieces such as Trans-fixed, in which he nailed himself to the back of a Volkswagon Beetle and Shoot, in which an assistant shot him from five feet away, as well as being name-dropped in a David Bowie song and a Norman Mailer book) is truly a sight to behold. An expansion of Burden’s own Metropolis I, which saw 80 cars in action, Metropolis II – four years in the making – features 1200 cars circulating around 18 lanes of a giant steel freeway! Burden’s monumental piece currently resides at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

As Burden was starting his project, another duo – Osaka-based artists Yasuhiko Hayashi and Yusuke Nakano, who go by the name Paramodel – were completing theirs: a sprawling, epic trail of plastic racing tracks that created a giant graffiti-like diorama. Their plastic racetracks have appeared in galleries all over Japan since 2005, as well as in natural outdoor locations as public art installations.

Paramodel's Plarail at Okazaki Mindscape Muzeum Achi 2007


- Kier-La Janisse

About the author:

Kier-La Janisse

Kier-La Janisse is a film writer and programmer, the founder of The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies and Owner/Editor-in-Chief of Spectacular Optical. She has been a programmer for the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Austin, Texas, co-founded Montreal microcinema Blue Sunshine, founded the CineMuerte Horror Film Festival in Vancouver (1999-2005) and was the subject of the documentary Celluloid Horror (2005). She has written for Filmmaker, Shindig!, Incite: Journal of Experimental Media, Rue Morgue and Fangoria magazines, has contributed to The Scarecrow Movie Guide (Sasquatch Books, 2004) and Destroy All Movies!! The Complete Guide to Punks on Film (Fantagraphics, 2011), and is the author of A Violent Professional: The Films of Luciano Rossi (FAB Press, 2007) and House of Psychotic Women: An Autobiographical Topography of Female Neurosis in Horror and Exploitation Films (FAB Press, 2012). She co-edited Spectacular Optical Book One: KID POWER! with Paul Corupe, and is currently writing A Song From the Heart Beats the Devil Every Time, an epic tome about children's programming in the counterculture era.


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