In 1971 Chris Burden, Barbara T. Smith and Nancy Buchanan were part of UC Irvine’s first graduating MFA class. During their final year of school, Smith and Burden discussed the possibility of trading artworks:
“… this small triptych was also shown independently from the rest of the trunk in our graduate exhibition. Chris Burden had seen it and fallen in love with the middle piece, The King’s Burial, and begged me for a trade. He said I could have anything of his in return. I was hesitant because I wanted all my work to go to my children. It was all I then had to give them, but finally, I agreed. Consequently however, at the end of our graduate show, when Chris claimed his piece, I was very emotional about giving it up and someone standing nearby ridiculed me about my display of feeling. Chris whirled around and said ‘”Hey lay off! I know exactly how she feels.” In return I got the scope and platform which he had used in his first performance work, Being Photographed: Looking Out, Looking In. The platform was also used in subsequent work, Shout Piece.”
– Barbara T. Smith
Please join us at The Box for a special viewing of these relics from Chris Burden’s first performance piece Being Photographed: Looking Out, Looking In (1971) as well as a discussion with artists Barbara T. Smith, Nancy Buchanan and Paul McCarthy surrounding the early days of performance art in Los Angeles.