Ian Burns


This sculpture is a "ride" past a series of shadow theater-like moving scenes. This photograph shows the cart, in which the viewer sits, in motions whilst I am constructing the surrounding mechanisms that generate the scenes.

The piece was built entirely on site at P.S.1, though in a form that can now be removed and installed in other locations. It is part of an ongoing series of participative works that set up controlled, absurd viewing circumstances as ironic play on the degeneration of the contemporary museum into little more than an amusement. The title of the piece, The Epic Tour, is a reference to the Grand Tour and its idealized, imperialistic views of the artistic, architectural, and natural wonders of 19th-century Europe and the accompanying authoritative dialogues, which instructed the enthusiastic traveler on how best to appreciate the views experienced lest they stray too far toward independent thought or discovery. In the end, the experience is kind of fun, albeit in a kind of pathetic way.