Chris Burden

B.OPEN: The Bridges (1997-2002)

13 July 2002 - 6 October 2002

As part of B.OPEN – BALTIC’s inaugural exhibition, BALTIC has commissioned influential American artist Chris Burden to make a scale model of the Tyne Bridge in Meccano. Tyne Bridge 2002) is the sixth in Burden’s series of model bridges that are made using massive quantities of Meccano and Erector Set parts. In Level 4 the viewer can experience the two bridges simultaneously: Chris Burden’s Tyne Bridge, 1/20th the size of the original and painted in the same distinctive green, and the original famous landmark that is visible through the glazed west façade of BALTIC.

BALTIC presents this new commission alongside the five other bridges in the series: Indo-China Bridge (2002), Hell Gate Bridge (1998), Mexican Bridge (1998-99), The Antique Bridge (1998-99) and ¼ Ton Bridge (1997). Patterns and drawings used by the artist, Meccano and Erector Set prints and some of the books that served as source materials for the Bridges are also displayed.

Described by the artist as ‘performative sculptures’, the bridges interact directly with the human body by allowing the viewer to walk under, over and, in the case of the ¼ ton Bridge, on top of, the structure.

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