Photographs by Alexis Chanes and Emma Sheffer
A Temporary Public Sculpture by Michael Parker
March 15th - September 12th 2014
Reception: Saturday March 15th @ 4pm to Sunset
The Bowtie Parcel
2800 Casitas Ave. (Apprx.)
Los Angeles, CA 90039
The Unfinished is an obelisk-shaped excavation located along the banks of the channelized LA River. The horizontal excavation, dug into and through the asphalt of an empty industrial lot, will be a 137-foot to-scale replica of the Ancient Egyptian archeological site known as “The Unfinished Obelisk” For 6 months Parker will coordinate an array of collaborative events and performances on and around the obelisk. "The Unfinished" is a public action in the form of a temporary monument.
“The Unfinished Obelisk” was begun during the reign of Pharaoh Hatshepsut, as one of her many monumental architectural commissions. The obelisk was to be carved from a single piece of granite and stand 137-feet tall, dwarfing all prior obelisks. The project was abandoned when a fissure was discovered while carving directly into the quarry’s bedrock. For thousands of years the obelisk has laid in its broken, unfinished state, just a few miles from the Aswan Dam on the Nile River. Referred to as the High Dam, the dam was built in the 1960's to control annual floods, provide irrigation and generate hydroelectricity. To this day, the Unfinished Obelisk is the largest known ancient Egyptian obelisk, despite the fact that it has never been raised.
The Unfinished is an urban site-specific sculpture located on a post-industrial lot, recently acquired by the California State Park. Nicknamed "The Bowtie" for it's unique shape, this parcel of land is parallel to the Elysian Valley neighborhood, running along the historically scenic Glendale Narrows of the LA River. The lot is slated to become parkland in conjunction with the larger revitalization of the river.
Michael Parker is a Los Angeles based artist whose practice explores individual agency and collective action. He employs sculptures, publications and events to explore ideas of temporality, absurdity, pragmatism, hierarchy and consumption. His projects consistently engage with unexpected partners such as Cold Storage construction workers, Linemen-in-training or sauna enthusiasts in the Steam Egg . He has worked with the LA Department of Cultural Affairs, Human Resources, Machine Project, Public Fiction, Control Room, The Center for Land Use Interpretation and High Desert Test Sites. Michael holds a BA from Pomona College and an MFA from USC. He teaches sculpture at California State University, Long Beach.
Click on the map below for directions to the "The Unfinished".
From I-5 N -> Merge onto the CA-2 N -> Exit N. San Fernando Rd. -> Left onto San Fernando Rd. -> Left onto Fletcher Dr. -> Left onto La Clede Ave. -> Left onto Carillon St. -> Right onto Casitas Ave. -> Continue straight through the round about, past Extra Space Storage and Nelson Miller -> Enter through the gate with the orange road barrier -> There will be a yellow and brown CA State Parks sign on your left -> Continue down the road and park on the concrete slab to your right just before the bushes -> Continue straight on foot to The Unfinished.
From I-5 S -> Exit Fletcher Dr. -> Left onto Fletcher Dr. -> Right onto La Clede Ave -> Left onto Carillon St. -> Right onto Casitas Ave. -> Continue straight through the round about, past Extra Space Storage and Nelson Miller -> Enter through the gate with the orange road barrier -> There will be a yellow and brown CA State Parks sign on your left -> Continue down the road and park on the concrete slab to your right just before the bushes -> Continue straight on foot to The Unfinished.
For more on the process, the people and the events to come follow here.