Metropolis II, the massive and immaculate mixed-media engineering phenomenon created by Chris Burden, has not only captured my heart as a human being but has inspired me in every aspect of my life. Beyond the sheer wonder it instills by the very nature of its size and technological accomplishments. Beyond the livelihood it creates with the full spectrum of toy cars racing through whimsical tracks at extraordinary speeds. Beyond the feeling of child-like joy that one cannot refuse to feel after witnessing the structure of all structures. Metropolis II flies beyond these points, using the detailed and carefully thought out concepts as the wind beneath its wings and the intricate entities that make up the many car tracks, train tracks, and buildings made of Legos, building blocks, and Lincoln logs. Metropolis II has done more than its process of recreating the livelihood of a busy city, or recreating the hopes and wishes of young boys. Yes, it has captured the truth beyond these dreams. After staring at Metropolis II for many minutes, one can notice slightly sinister undertones. The monotony of it all is overwhelming. Each car is destined to repeat the same track over and over, never diverting. No matter how wondrous or crazy the track may be, and no matter how colorful the cars or buildings may be, the overall monotony cannot be ignored. This is much like the sad realization people experience as they enter the real world. Being conditioned through their toys (i.e. the Legos, Hot wheels) to be excited by metropolitan cities and cars and trains, people find it hard to transition to the workforce of an actual metropolis. They experience the monotony of work on a daily basis, and see no joy in waiting in the same traffic day in and day out. The idea of a “9-5” day has consumed many people and their happiness. They had many high expectations and fairytale ideals (inspired and represented through Chris Burden’s metropolis) are not what it seems. The cover is a lie, to trick people into entering the world. Chris Burden is Amazing.
However, even as I, a person fully aware of the underlying concept behind this monumental sculpture, stood in front of it, the experience could not help but force a smile on my face. The noise of all the wheels racing down the tracks was deafening, but reminded me of all the times I played with hot wheels as a child. The slight rustling of the train wheels slowly traveling along the train tracks sent me back to the days where I was completely obsessed with trains. The colorful buildings soaring up to vast heights and spreading through the room reminded me of the room I myself had dedicated to all my Lego wonders. This piece strikes a personal cord, infiltrating one’s mind filled with memories. I think this is why it is so affective. It can relate to so many people on a level most people are not used to or prepared for. It enters their soul, only to inject them with the more mature, more concerning concepts that it actually embodies. I highly recommend this piece.