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Tom Coburn is a Big Fat Jerk


Home of the Barking Moonbat


Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Your Facade is Cracking

News of the ridiculous

quote: Internationally known artists Chris Burden and Nancy Rubins have retired abruptly from their longtime professorships at UCLA in part because the university refused to suspend a graduate student who used a gun during a classroom performance art piece, a spokeswoman for the artists said Friday.

"They feel this was sort of domestic terrorism. There should have been more outrage and a firmer response," said Sarah Watson, a director at Gagosian Gallery in Beverly Hills, which represents Burden and Rubins. "People feared for their lives."


The handgun incident occurred Nov. 29 at UCLA's graduate art studio annex in Culver City.

The brief performance involved a simulation of Russian roulette, in which the student appeared before the class holding a handgun, put in what appeared to be a bullet, spun the cylinder, then pointed the gun at his head and pulled the trigger, according to one student's account that was confirmed by law enforcement sources. The weapon didn't fire. The student quickly left the room, then the audience heard a shot from outside. What ensued is not clear, but police said no one was hurt.


Lokman said students can be suspended immediately, without the usual process of hearings and appeals, if the dean of students' office considers them a safety threat to themselves or others. In this case, he said, after an assessment by "qualified psychological experts," the dean's office determined that suspension was not warranted. Watson, however, said Burden and Rubins felt that the student should have been suspended while the investigations were continuing.

Burden made his name in the early 1970s with influential and controversial performance art. In his best-known piece, "Shoot," performed in a Santa Ana gallery while he was a graduate student at UC Irvine, Burden had an assistant stand 15 feet away and shoot him in the upper arm with a .22-caliber rifle.

Watson said Burden's work was controlled and that the audiences never felt in jeopardy. The UCLA case is different, she said, because it was a surprise action and "there was genuine fear."

The student who did the performance is Joseph Deutch, 25, according to the campus police log entry on the case. Campus police said that in the course of the investigation, Deutch handed over a gun that was not a real firearm. /end quote

You know, Burden's career was made not simply by the *performance* where he had an assistant shoot him. He also once threw himself onto the LA freeway in a trashbag.

Sheesh. Academics.

/end of snark


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