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Documentary Film Screening: Levitated Mass

  • America House

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 population to debate the merits and pitfalls of a giant stone suspended above their heads. The film takes on Heizer’s passion for this piece and masterfully interweaves this influential artist’s biography with the backstory of the art (originally conceptualized in 1968), the dreams of a major museum, and the uniting of a city, examining the perennial question: “What is art?”

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