Night & Day Archives » Night & Day

Moving Pictures

The art of deception


Artist Ian Burns creates Rube Goldberg-style machines that simultaneously make and unmake an image. Burns' constructs are sort of walk-in dioramas, accretions of household objects and clever engineering that viewers enter in order to see the desired image, which may be a light projection, a video feed or a combination of both. This manufactured image is the point of the piece, but the machinery that creates it is impossible to ignore. For his 2005 piece, The Epic Tour, gallery patrons sat in a chair facing a plastic screen; the chair traveled on a motorized track through a mass of lumber, lights and gears that projected roadside scenes on the screen, simulating a car ride through the country. A selection of Burns' kinetic sculptures is assembled in the Front Room of the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (3750 Washington Boulevard; 314-535-4660 or from Tuesday, November 25, through Sunday, December 7 (closed Monday). Admission is $3 to $5.
Tue., Nov. 25; Wed., Nov. 26; Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: Nov. 25. Continues through Dec. 7, 2008