Saturday yours truly headed west to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to see the debut of Chris Burden’s final (?) work, “Ode to Santos Dumont.” Named for the inventor of the dirigible, Burden’s piece sends a vinyl zeppelin in a 60-foot circle, powered by a tiny gasoline motor and propeller attached to an Erector-set undercarriage.
I was among the 200 or so folks in the first group at noon. Watch a 60-second video of the dirigible’s first loop.
It was charming, each pass offering a fresh look. But I have to say, 15 minutes is a long time to watch something this repetitive, and many drifted away after 8 or 10 minutes. Some of us stuck it out purely to see the end, when the engine stopped, the balloon made one final loop under its own momentum, and the two minders came out to gently lower the undercarriage into its movable cradle. They got a round of applause.
“Ode” is at LACMA through June 21 and is included in the admission price.
While at LACMA, I made sure to see Burden’s two permanent installations: “Urban Light,” below, and “Metropolis II,” at bottom. I also shot a video of the latter.