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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

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Chris Burden

Tough & Tender

Bed piece, 1972 by Chris Burden
Bed piece, 1972 by Chris Burden

In the video in Tough and tender Chris Burden narrates his performance artworks characterised by focused attention to mind over physical body.

Chris Burden was born in Boston in 1946 and studied art in Los Angeles. He achieved international scholarly recognition for his performance art. Later he produced large-scale installations that drew upon engineering and physics. He died from melanoma in 2015. 

The rare video documentation of performances from 1971 to 1974 is lent by Electronic Arts Intermix New York which preserves international artists’ performance to video and video art.

3 portraits

1 Shoot, 1971. 2 Video still from Documentation of Selected Works, 1971-74,. Both by Chris Burden.

Related information

Spencer 2016, by Warwick Baker
Spencer 2016, by Warwick Baker
Spencer 2016, by Warwick Baker
Spencer 2016, by Warwick Baker

Tough & Tender

Previous exhibition, 2016

Art by Warwick Baker, Chris Burden, Larry Clark, Rozalind Drummond, Nan Goldin, Robert Mapplethorpe and Collier Schorr explores personal relations, individual expression and fluid identity.

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

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