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'The Flying Kayak' by Chris Burden

‘The Flying Kayak’ by Chris Burden

March 10, 1982: Chris Burden in his “participation piece” artwork titled “The Flying Kayak,” on display at the Rosamund Felsen Gallery.

Los Angeles Times art critic William Wilson in a March 12, 1982, article reports on Burden’s piece:

His latest large project, “The Flying Kayak,” is as lyrical as anything he’s done. It consists of a fabric-covered frame in the shape of a little one-person boat. it hangs suspended about four feet above the gallery floor on three thin but sturdy steel cables. The kayak is unusual because it possesses a tail assembly reminiscent of a  glider plane. Its vertical member can be moved with a foot pedal inside the kayak. Wing-like horizontals are controlled by handy hand levers.

The gentle reader will now have correctly assumed that viewers are allowed to “ride” the kayak. In art jargon it is a “participation piece.” One mounts the vehicle on clunky but reassuringly stolid portable wooden steps. Several large fans are set in motion behind and one soars into a tame blue yonder consisting of a film-loop of sky projected on the wall ahead.

This photo by former staff photographer Mary Frampton was published in the March 12, 1982, L.A. Times accompanying Wilson’s column.

Chris Burden has created many well-known art pieces, including “Urban Light,” an installation consisting of 202 vintage street lights on display outside the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

1 Comment

  1. September 25, 2012, 2:10 am

    Cal Montney was my grandfather and it is really an honor to find his photos selected for these tags. Sadly, he passed away on Independence Day 2011. He wa 91. He was a great artist

    By: olliedays@yahoo.com

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