LA Experience – LACMA – Chris Burden’s Metropolis II

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In my free time and when my wallet allows me to, I love spending my time in the museums.  Seeing the different art works gives me inspiration and puts me in a state of awe.  On a late Friday afternoon earlier this month, I made my way to LACMA.  Unknowing to me there was a live outdoor concert where people can set up a picnic out in the grassy areas and enjoy food and music with family and friends.  That did not interest me at all, since I had two goals that I set out to accomplish.  It was to see Jesus Rafael Soto’s Penetrable and Chris Burden’s Metropolis II.

The first installation I went to see is Soto’s Penetrable.  The long yellow tubes hanging high about your head.  Walking through them was a whole different experience.  As one venture closer to the center of the installation, it brought the feeling of being isolated from the rest of the world.  The tubes blurred the vision both ways; it was hard to see from the center out, and from the outside in.  As simple as a piece this was, it is a piece were one can interact with it, and have their own interpretation and feelings from this experience.

The piece that I was most interested in was Chris Burden’s Metropolis II.  The scale was quite larger than what I expected.  And there was so much going on mechanically.  There were thousands of toy cars racing around on the tracks, trains slowly moving around and about, and the different buildings made of different materials.  Seeing the toy cars go around reminds me of my childhood, playing with Hotwheels with my younger brother.  But as I watch the cars get stacked up behind one another on the up ramp before individually zipping off in and around the buildings, it reminded of me the city.  It is a reminder of how congested it can get with all the cars that are on the highway.  To see the trains moving at a much slower pace shows how the use of public system isn’t used as much or is not as common in use.  The buildings are like that of Downtown LA, each unique and different.

Overall, I could spend hours watching the cars make their way around what seems like an endless track.  And observe all the details that are found in and around the building structures.  Metropolis II really makes me step back and see how busy the city can be and have us fail to realize the beauty of the city.  And that’s what Chris Burden’s installation did for me.  Though the buildings aren’t exactly the tall buildings that dominate the LA skyline, it is a reminder to me to just take a step back in life and just embrace and enjoy the beauty that we forget to see and realize.

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