Beehive Bunker (2006) is a sculpture that simulates a war bunker, built little by little and without the aid of machines. Due to the place where it is installed – one of the highest points at Inhotim – it looks like a lookout post. For the sculpture, 332 sacks of ready-mix concrete were stacked in alternating rows and structured by way of an irrigation system to make them compact. The rows of concrete were molded together, in a process of self-construction whose pace and time is determined by the material itself. The manual work that Beehive Bunker presupposes recalls the idea of performance art, a medium that the artist explored in the 1970s when he developed a series of actions in which he used his own body as an object t and support t for his work. As an unfolding and deepening of his important contributions to body art, Chris Burden has developed an extraordinary set of environmental installations and sculptures that reveal his fascination for the systems of power, social organizations, architectural structures, and technological systems, to which Beehive Bunker belongs. The use of this sort of small solitary fort, much used in World War II (1939–1945), reflects the artist’s concern for political questions and themes related to social organization and stratification. Here, the bunker is transformed into poetic architecture. The performative and choreographic process of its construction dialogues with another of Burden’s works, Beam Drop Inhotim (2008), also present in institute’s collection.


  • Title: Beehive bunker
  • Creator Lifespan: 1946
  • Creator Nationality: American
  • Creator Gender: Male
  • Creator Birth Place: Boston, Massachusetts
  • Date Created: 2006/2011
  • Type: Installation
  • Rights: Inhotim Collection, Brazil, Eduardo Eckenfels
  • Medium: Concrete, steel rebar, steel wire, cast iron manhole cover
  • Multimedia artist: Chris Burden

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