Levitated Mass? It is probably more appropriate to call this new land art instillation by Michael Heizer at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Held Mass. No denigration there, just reality- it’s held, not really levitated. There has been a substantial disappointment associated with this megalith and its new home. And this is perhaps appropriate, but also perhaps misplaced on at least a few levels.

© LACMA

Understandable levels of disappointment: that it cost some 10 million US dollars to pick up this giant remnant from a different epoch and move it across landscape and hardscape to its new location, to be held by triangular thing/supports which are perhaps a bit too bit for what they’re expected to do. Oh and those triangular things are the second understandable level of disappointment. If something is meant to levitate, then putting it on supports which appear as if they’re actually sized to carry it, just isn’t gonna do it! They got to appear as if they’re too small, or not be there at all and have the thing supported somehow else.

© Michael Heizer

The rock’s journey to its new artificial home is, however, I think something to be truly appreciated- if for nothing more than the fact that it gives us a glimpse into who we are as a culture and a civilization. ‘Yeah, I’ll look at some nature, bring it here’. And another thing worth appreciation is how it was transported. That crane-truck-thing is massive! And almost an artwork by itself. In fact- just as some buildings are far more beautiful when they are unfinished structural shells with HVAC components weaving in and out, all exposed for the world to see- I think the curation of this megalith went just one step to far. It was truly an object to marvel at when it was hung within that truck frame. No so, when it is perched rather mundanely above an underpass. If they had left that sucker in the frame, with the truck as part of the instillation- Goddamn!

© Michael Heizer

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