Xanadu Streetlamps: Night
Xanadu Streetlamps draw their inspiration from Chris Burden’s usage of restored Los Angeles cast iron street lamps in previously realized and unrealized works. Burden featured hundreds of restored lampposts in his iconic work Urban Light and again in his proposals about Xanadu. Xanadu Streetlamps: Dusk and Xanadu Streetlamps: Night capture the perspective of a person encompassed by a forest of lampposts, featuring a selection of several of the 17 different varieties of streetlamps included by Burden in Urban Light. The two times of light depicted in Xanadu Streetlamps: Dusk and Xanadu Streetlamps: Night reflect the changing experience of viewers depending on the time of day they engage with Urban Light, as it gets turned on at dusk.
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Chris Burden's innovative use of streetlamps transcends Urban Light, extending to visionary unrealized projects like Xanadu and Vienna Shining.
Burden's collection and meticulous restoration of antique streetlamps began in the early 2000s and culminated in their inclusion in four realized sculptures.
Urban Light is formed by 202 restored vintage streetlamps and serves as a landmark for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, embodying an open-air classical Greek temple aesthetic.
Burden’s streetlamps showcase his transformative approach to urban architecture, recontextualizing these found objects from the 1920s and 30s into powerful symbols.