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DAVID BURNS – The Institute for Art and Olfaction

David Burns is a contemporary artist who has an ongoing commitment to narrative-based projects that engage the broad public.  Recent projects explore conventions of contemporary art and experimental narrative practices in order to explore contemporary history, social media theory and public practice.  His work often engages a relationship between the social and the personal or ideas of intimacy.  Engagements that question the authenticity of authorship and a radical displacement of narrative is regularly an active strategy of his art practice – sometimes this expression is dependent on the broadcast or online media and at other times enrolled in the project as active collaboration with the public. It is this within this reframing of a contemporary art discourse that also engages the imagination of a broad public that informs Burns’ art practice.

Burns received his BFA from CalArts and his MFA from UC Irvine. He has taught at CalArts (1994 – 2007) in Masters of Fine Arts – Intergrated Media program and Choreography program.  In recent years he has taught at California College of the Arts in the Graduate Fine Art Program in Social Practice.  Recent public projects for museums include: Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Intermediae @ Matedero for ARCO, Madrid 2010; Ars Electronica; Utah Museum of Contemporary Art; The New Children’s Museum, San Diego; Honolulu Museum of Art; and Atlanta Contemporary Art Center.  In addition, recent public presentations, conferences and lectures include; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, The Hammer Museum, The Getty Center, TEDx, Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, as well as, UCLA, UCIrvine, OTIS, Art Center, Portland State University, and CalArts.

Burns is one of the co-founders of the art collaborative Fallen Fruit, founded in 2004.  The project originated as a public project that used neighborhoods and the fruit growing in public space as a means of re-examining our relationship with the world around us.  The collaboration has expanded to include serialized public projects and site-specific installations, performances and happenings in various cities around the world.  By always working with fruit as a material or media, the catalogue of projects and works reimagine public interactions with the margins of urban space, systems of community and narrative real-time experience.  Fallen Fruit’s visual work includes an ongoing series of narrative photographs, wallpapers, everyday objects and video works that explore the social and political implications of our relationship to fruit and world around us.  Recent curatorial projects for Fallen Fruit reindex the social and historical complexities of museums and archives by re-installing permanent collections through syntactical relationships of fruit as subject matter.

Burns’ solo art projects have been shown in art exhibitions and festivals including: The Getty Center, The Tate Modern, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Artist’s Space, Chicago Underground Film Festival, MIX, NEWFEST. His recent curatorial projects include: eatLACMA for Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Sight of Place for University Art Gallery at UCIrvine, The Drama of the Gifted Child for The Armory Center for the Arts and Embodied Technologies for Art Interactive & Leonardo.   Awards include Andy Warhol Foundation, Art Matters Foundation, GoodWorks Foundation, Medici Scholar Fellowship, MetLife Foundation Museum and Community Connections Grant.  Recognition for outstanding work from The Sydney Underground Film Festival, Berkeley Film Festival, InsideOut, MIX, Toronto Film Fesitval, YouTube – top level featured video, Yahoo! Best of the web, and Rhizome.org – people’s’ choice award.

Reviews and publishing on this recent work may be seen in The Los Angeles Times, The Huffington Post, The New Yorker, Art in America, ArtForum, X-tra, Frieze, Cabinet, Artillery, and more.  Featured story for broadcast media includes; BBC radio 2, NPR, CBS 2 Los Angeles, PBS, KCET, KPCC, KFWB, and others.