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, Owner/Artistic Director of Spectacular Optical Publications and founder of The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies. She has been a programmer for the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema and Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas, co-founded Montreal microcinema Blue Sunshine, founded the CineMuerte Horror Film Festival (1999-2005) in Vancouver, was the Festival Director of Monster Fest in Melbourne, Australia and was the subject of the documentary Celluloid Horror (2005). She 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) and contributed to Destroy All Movies!! The Complete Guide to Punks on Film (Fantagraphics, 2011), Recovering 1940s Horror: Traces of a Lost Decade (Lexington, 2014) The Canadian Horror Film: Terror of the Soul (University of Toronto Press, 2015) and We Are the Martians: The Legacy of Nigel Kneale (PS Press, 2017). She co-edited and published the anthology books KID POWER! (Spectacular Optical, 2014), Satanic Panic: Pop-Cultural Paranoia in the 1980s (Spectacular Optical, 2015) and Lost Girls: The Phantasmagorical Cinema of Jean Rollin (2017), and is co-editing Yuletide Terror: Christmas Horror on Film and Television for release in late 2017. She is currently writing A Song From the Heart Beats the Devil Every Time: Children’s Programming and the Counterculture, 1965-1985, monographs about Monte Hellman’s Cockfighter and Patricia Birch’s Grease 2, and is in development on a TV series based on her book House of Psychotic Women with Rook Films.


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