Beam Drop Inhotim (2008) is a re-creation of a work that was originally executed in 1984 at Art Park, a sculpture park in New York State, and destroyed three years later. The work was re-created for the first time at Inhotim, after surviving only as documentation for more than twenty years. In an action that could be called performance art, for 12 hours a 45-meter-high crane dropped the 71 beams composing the work into a pool of fresh concrete. This high impact operation resulted in a large-scale sculpture that bears a striking relationship to its surroundings, situated on a hilltop and creating an epic view within the landscape. The random pattern of the beams resulted as the artist’s control of the crane combined with the inherent randomness of the beams’ fall and the extreme violence caused by their massive weight. For the production of Beam Drop Inhotim(2008), Burden selected used steel beams at scrap-steel yards near Belo Horizonte, and then manipulated them to create a composition that recalls the gesturalism of Abstract Expressionism, especially the paintings of Jackson Pollock (1912–1956), which he has identified as an important reference for the work. Beam Drop Inhotim (2008) is also connected to the tradition of monumental sculpture in contemporary art, although it proposes its deconstruction. For Burden, each dropped beam is like his body that falls and slams into the ground, recalling his historical role as a pioneer of body art. Throughout his career, he has often created extreme situations pervaded by a sense of danger, which have challenged the physical limits of the materials and questioned the stable categories of power and status.


  • Title: Beam drop Inhotim
  • Creator Lifespan: 1946
  • Creator Nationality: American
  • Creator Gender: Male
  • Creator Birth Place: Boston, Massachusetts
  • Date Created: 2008
  • Type: Installation
  • Rights: Inhotim Collection, Brazil, Eduardo Eckenfels
  • Medium: 71 steel beams and concrete
  • Multimedia artist: Chris Burden

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