‘Shot in the Name of Art’

What does it take to get shot in the name of art? For the late conceptual artist Chris Burden, who did just that, it required courage, vision and an excellent triggerman. One willing to accept the risk that if he missed his target by inches, art could morph into homicide.

So when Mr. Burden, who died on May 10, decided to create “Shoot,” back in 1971, he made sure to find both a trained marksman and a trustworthy friend. Under the auspices of performance art, a handful of friends gathered in a makeshift art gallery and watched a long-haired man train his .22-caliber rifle on Mr. Burden.

As Mr. Burden’s profile in the art world grew, the national media discovered “Shoot,” and the video became central to his growing reputation. Documentation of the performance is now collected in major museums.

Chris Burden died on Sunday, May 10, 2015.

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