Chris Burden - Editions & Works on Paper New York Tuesday, October 24, 2023 | Phillips

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  • “Those first articles in Esquire, Newsweek, the LA Times, and the interview on Channel 9 in LA... It pisses me off when they only take the first slice, the first level. ‘Chris Burden, man who walks through glass…’ I mean, come on! It’s true I’ve done some of those things, but I’m not doing them as a circus act.” Chris Burden

    Independently published in the wake of sensationalist articles dwelling on the extremities of his performances, Burden’s Deluxe Photo Book 1971-73 is an exceptional catalogue that recontextualizes the artist’s early performances beyond surface-level notions of self-inflicted suffering and bodily harm. The artist’s book presents fifty-three black-and-white photographs taken by various photographers, which document twenty-three of Burden’s early performance pieces alongside short paragraphs describing these actions in Burden’s own words. At its core, this self-published volume serves as a necessary archive to ensure the survival of Burden’s otherwise ephemeral performances, which were performed in the presence of little to no audience.


    While a few performances are memorialized through a standalone image, Deluxe Photo Book offers a nuanced understanding of many of Burden’s pieces by using multiple images as documentation for a singular performance. In the case of some performances, like TV Hijack (1972), this multiplicity is used to illustrate chronology of the action, following Burden from a televised interview to his destruction of the station’s tapes. For others, like Shoot (1971), a work about which the New York Times penned an article in 1973, accompanying photographs illustrate the audience assisting Burden after he was injured more severely than expected during the performance. These deliberate representations serve to reframe perceptions regarding Burden’s intentions and conceptual artistry in a clear counter argument against the superficial remarks of mainstream media.


Deluxe Photo Book 71-73

The complete artist's book containing 44 gelatin silver prints and 9 chromogenic prints depicting 23 projects/performances by the artist, with accompanying typed descriptions, justification, title page and photography credit page, all contained in loose leaf sleeves and original black vinyl binder with hand-painted artist's name and title.
binder 11 1/2 x 11 1/2 x 2 5/8 in. (29.2 x 29.2 x 6.7 cm)
Signed, dated and numbered 5/50 in pencil on the justification, additionally signed in pencil on the reverse of each of the photographs (there were also 10 artist's proofs), published by the artist.

Full Cataloguing

$15,000 - 25,000 

Contact Specialist
212 940 1220

Editions & Works on Paper

New York Auction 24-26 October 2023