The Los Angeles County Museum of Art opened a new exhibit titled Levitated Mass to the public on Sunday, Jun. 24, 2012. Basically, a 340-ton rock has been suspended over a concrete trench in the middle of a lot of sand.
Michael Heizer, the man who is called the artist of the rock, has dreamed about creating “Levitated Mass” for a long time, and attempted to create it in 1969 with a smaller boulder, but the crane lifting the boulder snapped.
A 200-foot long transport that was specially designed for the rock was built to get the rock from Riverside County, California, to the museum. People crowded the streets to watch the rock’s 11-day journey as it made its way through the state.
I don’t think the rock is a good thing to go in an art museum. I mean, it’s not exactly art, is it? Nobody created it, nobody made it; it came from nature. The dictionary on my computer says art is “the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination.” But this rock wasn’t made by humans. Besides, it’s not that interesting. It’s impressive because it’s big, but other than that it’s normal and ordinary. Heizer said he knew this rock was “the one,” because “It was big.”
I think the rock belongs in a natural history or science museum. There, it would be about looking at the rock because it’s big and cool. For me, the main attraction of the rock is its size. I think that if a natural history or science museum housed a boulder that massive, visitors would look at it from a more scientific point of view.
Can you really say that a rock, which has not been carved, painted, or in any other way been affected by humans, is art? It’s a rock, not a painting, so why don’t people treat it like one?
I do think that the rock’s size is impressive, and it would probably be cool to walk under it, but I think the rock is exaggerated. It’s just a rock.
The problem is you forget that the sculpture designed by Heizer in 1969 and finally completed in 2012 is a piece with 3 parts: the displacement/the trench/the rock.
But you are exactly in the spirit of Heizer when you say: “For me, the main attraction of the rock is its size”. It is so deeply his mind, and he claim it since the very beginning of his career as a sculptor.
It is very important for Heizer to escape the definitions and dictionnaries. Why do you absolutely want to put things in a small box? Life is richer than that…
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