Chris Burden: Extreme Measures: "A Tale of Two Cities"

New Museum
Dec 4, 2013 11:40PM

This miniature reconstruction of two city-states at war with each other uses over five thousand war toys from the United States, Japan, and Europe. The whole tableau is set on a sand base, which acts simultaneously as a metaphor for both the desert and the ocean. Each city is protected by the natural rock formations or “city walls” formed by rows of actual bullets. Behind each city is a large collection of houseplants representing the jungle. The piece can be viewed in detail only through the use of a set of binoculars.

—Chris Burden, 1981

Photo: Benoit Pailley

New Museum