Oh, dracula: chris burden's 1974 performance at the utah museum of fine arts

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Publication Type thesis
School or College College of Fine Arts
Department Art & Art History
Author Povey, Rachel
Title Oh, dracula: chris burden's 1974 performance at the utah museum of fine arts
Date 2015-08
Description On 7 October, 1974, Chris Burden wrapped himself in a fabric and adhesive tape cocoon and lay suspended from the foyer gallery wall of The Utah Museum of Fine Arts (UMFA) for a total of eight hours. On either side of the cocoon hung two old master paintings, and below him stood two lit candle sticks. To the left of Burden's suspended body hung a wall plaque with text that read "Chris Burden, 1974, Oh, Dracula." Focusing on this understudied performance, Oh, Dracula is discussed through two visual "objects" derived from the 1974 performance: the published and singularly disseminated photograph, and the recently uncovered video documentation of the performance. First, I discuss how the published photo works to situate Oh, Dracula as a challenge to the ritualized, modern display traditions of art institutions. In this photo, Burden's body is highly emphasized on the seemingly autonomous wall and vacant gallery space. I then compare elements of the published photo against techniques of tromp l'oeil using two paintings, Venus Rising From the Sea-A Deception (1822) by Raphaelle Peale and Saint Serapion (1623) by Francisco Zurbarán, to illuminate the elements of wit and ritual in Oh, Dracula. The second and final section of the thesis discusses the twenty-five-minute black-and-white video found in the UMFA archives and recently moved to the University of Utah Marriott Library Multimedia Archive. Although the video was commissioned by someone, currently unknown, there is nothing that points to Burden's involvement in or knowledge of the video, and as such, it should not be approached as its own artistic statement or creation. Rather, it gives additional information regarding the process, experience, and certain viewer interactions with the Oh, Dracula performance. Organizing the timeline into three sections, the opening of the video as assistants complete the installation, UMFA director E.F. Sanguinetti's introduction and interaction with the performance, and finally the dismount of Burden's body I use the documentation of process embedded in the video itself. Through this video, I situate Oh, Dracula in relation to other Burden works and themes relating to the body, as well as how elements of ritual and tactility are highlighted in conjunction with the published photograph.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Subject Chris Burden; Oh Dracula; UMFA
Dissertation Institution University of Utah
Dissertation Name Master of Arts
Language eng
Rights Management Copyright © Rachel Povey 2015
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 27,563 bytes
Identifier etd3/id/3960
ARK ark:/87278/s6f50xgq
Setname ir_etd
Date Created 2016-06-14
Date Modified 2021-05-06
ID 197510
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s6f50xgq
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