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COLLEGIAL CONSULTATION on Beam drop Antwerp (2009) by Chris Burden, damaged by storm

Monday, February 17, 2020 - 21:39

The Middelheim Museum is an art park featuring an international collection modern and contemporary sculpture in a public park, free for all. Unfortunately, recent storms struck our park severely and winds damaged the monumental work by Chris Burden: Beam Drop Antwerp of 2009. Some of the rusty steel beams were folded and bent to the extent the work became a hazard to the public. Danger, decay and accidents are crucial elements of Burden's performative/process based work, but today we realise the museum did not capture clearly the artist's intent for the long-term preservation of the outcome and end result: the site-specific metal sculpture. What about natural decay and risks inflicted by the forces of nature? With this message I hope to get in touch with conservation/museum colleagues or former collaborators of the artist who are more familiar with Burden's views on the longevity of his work and on the importance of the end result of his process based/performative work as autonomous artworks. We'll try to get in touch with Inhotim as well (Beam Drop 2008). Publications, interviews, any thoughts, comments or suggestions are VERY WELCOME to inform our conservation decisions!

Thank you for your support and all the best!

Veerle (Head of Collections Middelheim Museum) veerle.meul@antwerpen.be

More information and pictures of the work in our collection:

https://www.middelheimmuseum.be/en/page/chris-burden-united-states

https://search.middelheimmuseum.be/Details/collect/216250

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Nancy Rubins found my post and passed it to the Estate of Chris Burden. A pitiful occasion, but we feel very grateful and privileged to get in touch with this great sculptor as well! Today we started a conversation with Yayoi Shionoiri on Beam Drop's condition, the artist's intention and conservation options. MANY THANKS to all, including the INCCA network, for supporting the care for this fantastic artwork in our collection.

Great to hear this Veerle! Thank you for letting us know.