Chris Burden, Artist in distribution, USA, 1946

Chris Burden was born in Boston, USA, in 1946. He now lives and works in Los Angeles, where he teaches at the University of California. Burden obtained a BFA from Pomona College in California in 1969, and an MFA from the University of California, Irvine, in 1971. Burden is among the most influential of American performance artists and his work has been shown in solo exhibitions in prestigious galleries in Europe and North America. His earliest performances are among the most extreme examples of body art, in which the artist inflicts physical danger or harm on himself to question bodily boundaries. From the mid-1970's onwards, Burden shifted his focus away from performance to create objects which combined political commentary and scientific innovation. Burden employed video as a means of documenting his performances and also created works which consisted of fragmented narratives of the artist performing 'as himself', which question what constitutes an artistic performance. On the whole, Burden's work raises questions of control over the self and over other people in relation to the body, technology and social structures