Carmen Herrera is one of the oldest working artists today. She was a pioneering abstract painter in the '40s and '50s, but only recently found the recognition that eluded her for most of her career, as she approaches her 100th birthday.
Ku Klux Klansman Mike Burden opens the Redneck Shop and KKK museum in historic Laurens, SC. He subsequently falls in love with a single mom, and, under her influence, quits the Klan and is taken in by an African American Reverend.
As a documentary, Burden is a successful film. It accurately captures Chris Burden and the performance and sculptural work he created throughout his life. It depicts Burden's wild, dangerous, sometimes violent work while also telling the stories behind each piece. On occasion it also goes into detail about Burden's life growing up and his life as an innovator outside of his artwork.
One area where the film is lacking is in its balance between the past and the present. Whenever the film transitions from the chaotic stories of Burden's early work to the quiet, calm interviews of present-day, it is very powerful. The film only does this a few times, however, and focuses the majority of the time on discussing the wild, hectic, dangerous performances and sculptures Burden did in his early life. Though this is very informative and provides eye-opening insight into the life and work of Chris Burden, I yearned for more information on the work and life of Burden in his later years. Burden's later years were left very vague and mysterious.
Despite a few flaws, this film provides important documentation on how Burden's controversial and bold artwork changed the art history world forever. If you are looking for a film that shows how provocative and controversial art can change the world, this documentary is for you.
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