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Assembly Online free arts programme continues with talk about sculptor Chris Burden from Norfolk-based writer and curator Sarah Lowndes

PUBLISHED: 16:46 24 September 2020 | UPDATED: 16:46 24 September 2020

Sarah Lowndes presents Assembly Online for The Assembly House Trust  (c) Assembly House Trust

Sarah Lowndes presents Assembly Online for The Assembly House Trust (c) Assembly House Trust

(c) Assembly House Trust

Free arts programme from Assembly Online continues with Norfolk-based writer and curator’s talk and Q&A about sculptor Chris Burden who said of his work: “I don’t think my pieces provide answers, they just ask questions”

The Assembly House Trust’s free online arts programme continues on October 1 with a talk and Q&A about ground-breaking sculptor Chris Burden.

Sarah Lowndes, a writer, curator and lecturer, will present In a Free Spot: Chris Burden and Topanga Canyon, California (1984 to 2015) in a live stream event on October 1 at 7.30pm.

Viewers can watch the free talk live via this YouTube link.

The talk will focus on the post-1984 life and work of Chris Burden, after he moved to live in the geographically remote location of Topanga Canyon in California, a magnet for artists since the 1960s.

Burden’s relocation meant that he could live a more private, self-reliant and expressive life, in which his wellbeing and his creative development were enhanced by his mutually supportive relationship with sculptor Nancy Rubins, capacious studio space and the outstandingly beautiful surrounding landscape.

Throughout his career, Burden (b.1942, d.2015) consistently used his work to highlight socio-political concerns, whether using his own body or later, recycled industrial materials.

In both his early performances and his mature practice, Burden investigated how things work. While in his early performances the focus of his practice was personal considerations of power, in later years he shifted his focus of enquiry to external issues of power, in works that interrogated systems of monetary value, energy use, warfare, weaponry and transportation.

He observed: “I don’t think my pieces provide answers, they just ask questions. I don’t think that’s what art is about – it doesn’t have a purpose – it’s a free spot in society where you can do anything.”

Following the talk, Dr Lowndes will be responding to questions from the viewers in a YouTube live chat – if you have a YouTube or Google account you can join in the discussion in the live chat.

A research fellow at Norwich University of the Arts, Dr Lowndes also contributes to the public programme at The Sainsbury Centre and works with the education team at Time and Tide Museum in Great Yarmouth.

Although the business arm of The Assembly House has now reopened, arts events at the Theatre Street venue are still unable to be staged, meaning that The Assembly House Trust’s arts programme has moved online.

Assembly Online is a live stream series bringing regular free events to audiences at home – these include talks, screenings, discussions, performances, critical reading and poetry. Events are courtesy of Norwich-based arts charity The Assembly House Trust.


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