Chris Burden, 1 Ton Crane Truck 2009
“‘Limits’ is a relative term. Like beauty, it is often in the eye of the beholder.” Chris Burden
Gagosian present Measured, an exhibition of two large-scale works by Chris Burden: 1 Ton Crane Truck (2009) and Porsche with Meteorite (2013).
At the Britannia Street galleries, a functional 1964 F350 Ford crane-truck is held in balance with the weight of a one-ton cast-iron cube, and a Porsche 914 sports car is suspended in equilibrium with a meteorite. Both vehicles have been restored to pristine condition using contemporary materials, from fresh paint to new tires. In 1 Ton Crane Truck, the Ford is painted bright orange and the custom-made cube suspended from its crane boom announces its weight—“1 TON”—in recessed lettering, forcing the viewer to consider the physical capacities of the familiar American vehicle.
Burden pushed this precarious sense of balance even further in Porsche with Meteorite. Like a giant seesaw, a yellow Porsche and a nickel-iron meteorite hang from either end of a steel beam. The fulcrum, placed off-center, distributes the weight so that both objects are raised from the floor. The Porsche, at 993.4 kilograms (2,190 lbs.), weighs down the short end of the beam, and the meteorite, at 176.9 kilograms (390 lbs.), counterbalances it on the long end. Porsche with Meteorite thus draws attention to the relativity of size, weight, and value, juxtaposing refined German manufacture with an extraterrestrial metal chunk.