Medium: Performance at the University of California Irvine, Irvine, Calif.
Dates: April 26, 1971 - April 30, 1971
At the University of California, Irvine, Chris Burden locked himself in Locker Number 5 for five consecutive days. He rigged the locker above him to hold five gallons of bottled water, while the locker below him held an empty five gallon bottle. His then-wife, Barbara, slept on the floor in front of the locker some nights, "in case I really flipped out or something," the artist wrote in a 1975 untitled statement. Five Day Locker marked the beginning of Burden's early body works, where his performances centered around physical feats putting his own body under duress. Burden says of his early performances and of Five Day Locker specifically, "It's not like a Joan Jonas dance piece where you have a lot of intricate parts that make a whole. With my pieces there is one thing and that's it."