Urban Light

Posted on May 26th, 2008, by Petra

In February 2008 the BCMA (Broad Contemporary Art Museum) opened next door to the LACMA (Los Angeles Country Museum of Art). Both museums share the same campus, which is still undergoing a major overhaul.

Apart from yet another abbreviation the BCMA brought not only a rather interesting collection of modern art to the city, but also an installation outside on the piazza between the two museums: “Urban Light” by Chris Burden.

This installation, consisting of 202 street lamps, most of them actually originating from Los Angeles, is one of my favorite pieces. There are new aspects from each and every angle, light and shadow paint pictures of their own, surrounding buildings (even those not connected to the museum) come into play for new and surprising compositions.







And yes, they do light up at night. One of these days I’ll have to go down to Wilshire on a balmy summer night for a new series of photos.

Please leave a comment

  1. Karen Says:

    Gurlfriend, you do take the most beautiful photos. I love the angles and shadows. It’s abstract art.

  2. Petra Says:

    Thanks. Although this shoot was a bit hellish, I am quite pleased myself. The problem is simply that the installation is made to walk in (which is wonderful) and that people take the opportunity to do so (which is not so wonderful when you want to take photos). What’s more, the light was not quite right when I started out; I had to wait for nearly two hours until that fixed itself.

    But that’s all part of the experience.

  3. Brave Sir Robin Says:

    Those are awesome photos!!

    I can’t wait to see the night shots.

    I know what you mean about those pesky people in the pictures.

    Autos tend to ruin a lot of good shots in the city.

  4. Petra Says:

    Don’t worry, the night shots will come. It might take a while, but come they will.

  5. Karen Says:

    Autos, fire hydrants, and signs are pesky problems in shooting photos in cities. Sometimes, there’s not help for it but to include one or all.

  6. Petra Says:

    Power lines. You forgot power lines! I have to admit to having erased quite a few of them out of the odd photo now and then. Urban environment or not, sometimes they just do not fit in.

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