The Los Angeles County Museum of Art has acquired, in its wisdom, a 340 ton granite boulder that will form the centerpiece of Michael Heizer‘s massive outdoor sculpture, “Levitated Mass.”
LACMA director Michael Govan points out that the huge rock is “only part of the sculpture,” which requires the construction of a subterranean slot upon which steel rails will support the rock, I mean the sculpture.
“The largest part of the sculpture is the negative space, the channel in the landscape,” he says. “It has its own independent sculptural presence. The marriage of these two forms comprises the sculpture.”
When was the last time you got to hear the term “negative space” used without facetiousness?
Anyway, the logistics of moving this huge rock are a nightmare. A company that moves “extreme objects” has been hired to figure out how to do it. Some utility lines, street lights and stop lights will have to be taken down by the local area’s utility companies as the boulder passes through crowded urban areas, and the route the rock will take can’t be confirmed until permits are cleared.
At a cost of somewhere between $5 and $10 million dollars, this is a coup for LACMA. Michael Heizer, the artist, is best known for “Double Negative,” the 1,500-foot-long land sculpture he cut into a desert mesa in a remote section of southern Nevada.
Breathtaking, isn’t it? To quote Heizer: “There is nothing there, yet it is still a sculpture.” So true.
As we ponder the meaning of art, the suffering of Sisyphus, and the value of ten million dollars, let us not forget that people are idiots.