MICHAEL HEIZER | “City” | 1972-Present
“You just don’t get it, do you? This is a czarist nation, a fascist state. They control everything. They tap my phone. They’ll do anything to stop me. We’re the front lines, man, fleas fighting a giant.” —Michael Heizer [x]
At eighty feet high, a quarter of a mile wide, and one and a quarter miles long, the sculpture “City” is roughly the scale of the national mall in Washington, D.C., making the artwork, located in Garden Valley, Nevada, one of the largest sculptures ever created. The sculpture is so large that when the energy department did a survey flyover of the area, they mistook it for a military project.
Begun in 1972 by artist Michael Heizer, this “earthwork” is made entirely of dirt, rocks, and concrete, constructed with heavy machinery. Heizer is renowned for his large-scale sculptures and earth art, and produces works that cannot fit into a conventional museum setting, except in photographs.
Earthworks and other unsellable “land art” like this were a reaction to the commercialization of art in the 1960s. Heizer came up with the idea for “City” in 1970, when he was in the Yucatan studying the serpent motif in the ball court at Chichen Itza. He was 24. His work is quickly recognized as the archetype of what people were beginning to call Land Art.
It made a huge impact.
In his words, City “is based on an awareness that we live in a nuclear era. We’re probably living at the end of civilization.” [x]
(Source: knowyourartworld, via isxbelle)