“Burden’s monument couldn’t be more different from Maya Lin’s famous wall of 57,939 American names in Washington, where cathartic elegy is gently given a space to emerge. “The Other Vietnam Memorial” instead exudes an icy cold beauty, the light falling across its copper leaves transforming metal into mechanized flesh, its finely machined parts recalling the high-tech machinery of war. The vague enormity of the carnage, which the intellect already knows as an abstraction, is here given blunt form. Spectators are left to deal with it as they will.
In assuming no moral position about the fact of death at such enormous scale, Burden’s art removes itself from the divisive realm of polemic, while replacing with hard fact any possibility of aggrandizing sentiment. This incisive maneuver symbolically brings into view the victims of war that any opposition must habitually repress, creating an awesome sight that today reverberates against the thousands upon thousands of Iraqi casualties in the recent Gulf War.”
-Christopher Knight, “ART REVIEW : MOMA Enters the ’90s” (Oct. 23, 1991) LA Times