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, Editor-in-Chief of Spectacular Optical Publications, founding director of The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies and the Festival Director of Monster Fest in Melbourne, Australia. 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 and was the subject of the documentary Celluloid Horror (2005). She has written for Incite: Journal of Experimental Media, Filmmaker, Offscreen, Shindig!, Rue Morgue and Fangoria magazines, has contributed to 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 recently co-edited and published the anthology books KID POWER! (Spectacular Optical, 2014) about kids in cult film and television and Satanic Panic: Pop-Cultural Paranoia in the 1980s. She is currently working on the book A Song From the Heart Beats the Devil Every Time about children’s programming from 1965-1985.


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