It made headlines when it was slowly carted along a winding, 105-mile journey from Riverside County to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, but a 340-ton granite boulder will finally make its public debut Sunday.
The rock is the centerpiece of artist Michael Heizer's LACMA entryway exhibit "Levitated Mass," and opened to the public Sunday.
The installation, originally conceived by Heizer in 1969, features a 456- foot-long concrete "slot," with the massive boulder dangling above in the center. Museum visitors will walk along the slot, descending 15 feet as they go, and walking directly under the looming boulder.
"This is a historic occasion, one many years in the making," museum chief executive officer Michael Govan said.
"Thousands of families witnessed the transport of the 340-ton megalith to LACMA this spring, and now Michael Heizer has realized his artwork on the museum's campus, where it will stand for generations to come. I am grateful to the many generous donors who made this incredible endeavor possible."
The Rock has been getting all the attention, but there's another, larger component of Michael Heizer's Levitated Mass. It's the so-called Slot, the 456-foot long trench that will run beneath theRock.
The Slot has been all but invisible during its construction, cordoned behind netting and chain-link fence. It appears that Heizer is leveraging the "haunted shack" principle in the Slot. We tend to experience the angles of human constructions as right and true even when they're not.
The downward journey through the Slot will likely be experienced as approximately horizontal. This misperception may help "levitate" the Rock, perceptually speaking. The bottom of the Slot will be a great room with maybe ten feet of air between your head and the Rock.
Worried about it collapsing in the Big One? It will have 10 feet to accelerate before it crushes you. I know, the engineers swear it can't happen. The Sublime isn't about what happens, it's about what you think might happen.
The boulder arrived at LACMA on March 10 after an 11-night journey on a 200-foot-plus-long cargo rig. The massive rock was suspended on the rig with cables and chains, as the vehicle slowly moved during generally overnight hours along streets big enough to handle the oversized caravan.
The boulder became a "rock" star of sorts in some locations where it stopped during the day. The trek included a ride through Chino and Diamond Bar, as well as a stop in Rowland Heights. One city even held a block party for the rock, which also had its own Twitter account.
The boulder was sold to LACMA for $70,000 but the total cost of the project is around $10 million dollars (no tax dollars were used as it is privately funded), most of it spent on transporting and installation. Crews of hundreds of people had to remove light signals, cables and utility lines before the rock passed by and then quickly put them back up.
LACMA plans to offer free museum admission to residents of communities that were impacted by the rock's move. Levitated Mass does not require museum admission to view. The "ROCK" even has its own Twitter Page.