Massive rock rolls into LA museum art installation


The 340-ton granite rock that became a star during its slow sojourn across California roads in March took up residence at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art at an unveiling that included an appearance by the reclusive artist who conceived the project. ‘Levitated Mass’, the well-travelled boulder at the centre of artist Michael Heizer’s new art work, drew the admiration of museum director Michael Govan, museum board co-chair Terry Semel, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and other local dignitaries at a ribbon-cutting. “Art is made to memorialise time,” Heizer, making a surprise appearance said. “A culture is known by its art, not by its science.” After opening remarks, the committee led hundreds of art lovers through the 456-foot-long (140 meters) groove that runs beneath the 21-foot-high (6.4 meters) boulder in the museum’s north lawn. “It does make the impossible possible,” Govan told the crowd. “As Michael said to me once, when do you ever get to see the bottom of sculpture?” The stone made its 106-mile (170 km) journey over 11 days in March, inching nightly on a massive heavy-duty trailer along California highways at an average speed of 7 miles per hour (11 kph). It rested in the middle of the road by day, forcing the closure of some traffic routes. The sojourn sparked celebrations in neighbourhoods along its route and made headlines around the world.