1980, 15:12 min, color, sound
In this narrative performance for video, Burden tells the story of his relationship with a truck named “Big Job.” To relate his autobiographical monologue, he sits deadpan before the camera with moving images of the truck behind him. Writes Burden, “During a six-month period, while the artist wrestles with the problem of owning an antique 16,000 lb. freight-truck, Big Job becomes a metaphor for personal insanity. [I] talk about the ‘curse of Big Job,’ my foiled plans to transform the truck into a rolling communications command post or a traveling museum, and my difficulty in getting rid of the rig. A true story.”
Producer: La Mamelle.
“A museum installation consisting of a 100-ton jack connected to a gear box and a turnstile. The 100-ton jack pushes two large timbers against the bearing walls of the museum. Each visitor to the museum must pass through the turnstile in order to see the exhibition. Each input on the turnstile ever so slightly expands the jack, and ultimately if enough people visit the exhibition, SAMSON could theoretically destroy the building. Like a glacier, its powerful movement is imperceptible to the naked eye. This sculptural installation subverts the notion of the sanctity of the Museum (the shed that houses the art).”
Source: Zwirner and Wirth
This piece, entitled “Full Financial Disclosure,” is from a collection of Chris Burden TV commercials that aired during the wee small hours of the morning, mixed in with those delightful Cal Worthington Ford and Zachary All spots on various Los Angeles television stations, from 1973 to 1977. Burden explains: “During the early seventies I conceived a way to break the omnipotent stranglehold of the airwaves that broadcast television had. The solution was to simply purchase commercial advertising time and have the stations play my tapes along with their other commercials.” The entire series can be viewed at UbuWeb.