'Levitated Mass,' behind the scenes

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LACMA's Unframed blog says the museum is beginning prep work for a major new art installation that will open to the public in November. Michael Heizer’s "Levitated Mass" requires more than the usual preparation.

So, what is it? The short if incomplete answer is it’s a 340-ton, 21’-6” high boulder that Heizer discovered in a quarry in Riverside some years back. (In terms of height, the boulder is roughly as tall as the Resnick Pavilion. It’s big.)

But that’s not all it is—the boulder is just the most prominent feature of Heizer’s latest earthwork. It will be installed above a 456-foot trench that stretches behind the Resnick Pavilion. You’ll walk the length of the trench, which eventually descends to fifteen feet underneath the boulder before rising back to ground level on the other side. It promises to be quite an experience. “Awesome” is the word that springs to mind. To give you an idea of the experience, you can see in this aerial view of the campus a path that already exists behind the Resnick Pavilion—this is roughly the length of the trench we’ll begin cutting into the earth this month.


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Michael Heizer living at LACMA while he seats the boulder

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