Performance Art Program

Friday, December 5, 1975


Presented at:


Performance and lecture by Chris Burden

"When Burden realized that [his] early dramatic performances became expected by his public, he pulled back inside himself and began doing simple, understated performances that made people angry. I remember when Robert Longo brought him to HALLWALLS in Buffalo, I think it was in 1975, Burden just delivered a bland lecture and wrote on a blackboard. The audience became irate and shouted at him. I remember that Cindy Sherman, who was very shy back then, stood up and started yelling at the crowd in [Burden's] defense, accusing them of being sadists who just craved spectacle and didn't understand what conceptual art is about" (Roger Denson, Facebook comment on Jerry Saltz's page, 4/12/18).
"Yes, Roger, that was on Dec. 5, 1975, within Hallwalls' first 12 months. As much as this performance might've been relatively understated (unspectacular) and even boring, documentation was nonetheless included in Chris Burden's 'first U.S. museum survey' that Cheryl & I saw at the ICA Boston in 1989 at its former location in the former police HQ on Boylston Street. The documentation consisted of a piece of chalk on a vitrine-topped pedestal. Elsewhere in that retrospective was the film documentation of Burden's first 'Beam Drop,' at Artpark, Lewiston, NY, summer 1984" (Ed Cardoni, reply, 4/13/18).

Some publications related to this event:
September, 1975 - 1975