What Makes this book club worthy? Burden’s work is full of the things that make you go hmmm, and this hefty book documents all of them and more. Each time I haphazardly open up to a page, there’s a new mental-conversation piece splattered across the page! Most known for his 1971 piece Shoot, in which Burden instructed his assistant to shoot him in the arm as a crowd watched, and his 1974 performance piece Trans-Fixed, in which Burden crucified himself against a Volkswagen Beetle, there’s plenty more to learn about the infamous artist. The one I just opened up to today is called B.C. Mexico, in which Burden tested himself to survive 11 days with just a kayak and minimal water off the coast of Mexico, where the average daily temperature was 120 degrees. Upon his return, Burden showed a short movie and read from a diary about his voyage. Burden’s always got a story to tell, and it’s up to you to make sense of each one.
Plus, he lives and works in California, and I can’t help but have some home-state pride!