LEVITATED MASS is the story of a rock star; the artist behind the sensation; a $10 million, 22-city tour; and the international media storm that ensued--but not in the way you might expect. Prominently displayed outside the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, renowned and reclusive land artist Michael Heizer's "Levitated Mass" gained worldwide recognition during its installation in 2012. Over the course of 10 nights, a 340-ton solid granite boulder crawled through Southern California neighborhoods on a 294-foot-long, 206-wheeled trailer, drawing hundreds of camera crews and cell phone shooters alike to document its journey. Tens of thousands of people came out to watch the megalith travel through their communities to its final resting place over a 456-foot-long negative space formed by a concrete slot. "Levitated Mass" is one of the only pieces of art in recent history to inspire such a reaction in pop culture, bringing together the art community, public officials, and the general ... Written by
Electric City Entertainment
"Levitated Mass" (2013 release; 89 min.) is a documentary about sculpture artist Michael Heizer. As the documentary opens, we hear news announcements along the lines of "New York has the Statue of Liberty, Washington has the Monument, and now LA has its own signature landmark", and that introduction certainly intrigued me (although it begs the question, isn't the Hollywood sign LA's signature landmark?). Soon we are introduced to Michael Heizer, a sculpture artist who evolves away from galleries to making "land art". His lifelong ambition is to make a massive monolithic sculpture that is bigger than anything ever seen. To tell you more might spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.
Couple of comments: this is the latest movie from well-known and respected documentary maker Doug Pray (he's previously brought us other documentaries like Big Rig and Art & Copy, just to name those). Pray composes the documentary into four distinct parts: (i) the introduction to Heizer and his works (fascinating for those of us know knew little about the man before seeing this documentary), (ii) the prep work for transporting the 340 ton boulder to the LA County Museum of Art, (iii) the actual trek across 105 mi. and 22 cities (which takes up about half of the documentary), and (iv) the epilogue in which the rock is installed and opened to the public (in 2012). I have to say that I was quite surprised how the 105 mi. journey over 10 days and nights became such a "people's event". One of the roadside spectators comments "it's our rock now, it doesn't matter what he (Heizer) thinks", ha! Last but not least, the documentary features a very nice soundtrack of mostly instrumental pieces, composed and performed by Brooklyn indie band Akron/Family.
I am by no means an "expert" in this field. I am simply someone who is interested in "art", and love a good story, while hopefully learning something along the way. On that account, "Levitating Mass" delivered in all respects, and this documentary flew by in no time. Not to mention that upon my next visit to LA, going to see this art work in person will be at the top of my "to do" list. "Levitated Mass" is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
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