Michael Heizer's Levitated Mass opens today at LACMA.
Way back in the twentieth century—1969, to be precise—Michael Heizer had the idea for an artwork he’d call Levitated Mass. It would be a massive rock perched atop a long slot in the earth. He even got so far as to start creating the artwork in the Nevada desert: he had a 120-ton rock and he dug out the slot. Unfortunately, one of two cranes he was using to mount the rock buckled under the weight, and the project was not completed.
Here we are more than four decades later, and Levitated Mass is complete. The rock is a little heavier (340 tons), the slot is a little longer (456 feet), and the site is a little more accessible (right in the middle of Los Angeles). Also, a few more people know all about it: back in March you couldn’t change the channel or open your local paper without hitting upon the story of the transport of the boulder from Jurupa Valley to LACMA. Thousands of people came out every single day and night to see this boulder move across Southern California to its destination at the museum. And now we’re inviting all of those people—and everyone else, too!—to come see Levitated Mass as it officially opens to the public this Sunday.