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Arts and Entertainment

LACMA Flies The Late Chris Burden's Final Art Project

Chris Burden's "Ode to Santos Dumont" (Photo by J. Searles, courtesy of LACMA)
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We recently lost artist Chris Burden, the man behind LACMA's iconic "Urban Light" art installation (the striking 202 lit lampposts sitting in the front of the museum). But for the next month, we fortunately get the chance to see his final project—an airship sculpture that flies in the air on rotation at LACMA starting today.

Burden finished building his "Ode to Santos Dumont" art sculpture, but sadly died on May 10 at the age of 69 in his Topanga Canyon home, just over a week before his installation would go on display to the public. He had been battling malignant melanoma for the past year and a half.

LACMA describes Burden's final project as a "kinetic airship sculpture inspired by Brazilian-born pioneer aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont, widely considered the father of aviation in France." For the next four weeks, LACMA will have the sculpture fly for 15-minute intervals in a 60-foot circle at their Resnick Pavilion. The balloon in the airship is filled with helium and there's a motor that propels it around. Here are a couple of videos of it in motion:

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While you're at LACMA, also check out Burden's "Metropolis II" at the museum's BCAM building. It's a kinetic art installation, a mini-city sculpture with 1,200 colorful toy cars zooming around on different plastic roadways.The installation will run a few times a day on Mondays, and Thursdays through Sundays from May 18 to June 21. Check LACMA's website here for the schedule. Reservations are not required to view this performance, and as long as you buy a general admission ticket, you can go check it out. LACMA is located at 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, 323 857-6000.