By: Joey Uva Enoch
Well the “Rock” finally made it! If you live in California, you have been hearing about this 340-ton boulder for months. If you don’t live in California, or you haven’t heard about LACMA’s new art installation “Levitated Mass”, it’s a huge boulder that has traveled for eleven days, through various Southern California counties to finally find its new home at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The “Rock” will be installed in an exhibit where you will be able to walk under a pathway from where the rock will be suspended.
Living only two blocks from LACMA, I thought it would be great to introduce Grace to this. She could see it as it just arrived and then we could see the exhibit when it’s finally completed. Last week I told Grace that we would be having a “Pajama Rock Viewing Breakfast” which would consist of us leaving the house in our pajamas when we woke up on Saturday morning to see the rock as it arrived, followed by breakfast out. I think Grace was more excited by getting to leave the house in her pajamas for breakfast than going to see a rock. Regardless, I explained the rock’s eleven-day journey, how much it weighed, and what the museum planned to do with it.
On Saturday morning at 6:30am we walked over to LACMA. The boulder was on a huge custom built transportation vehicle that was made just for the journey. The custom vehicle was said to have 196 wheels to help distribute the weight of the rock to prevent damage to the roads while it was traveling. Trevor asked Grace, “How many elephants do you think it takes to weigh 340 tons?” I could see Grace’s mind spinning until she said, “How many tons does one elephant weigh?” We had to Google it later; one grown male elephant can weigh between six and eight tons. So that rock is about as heavy as fifty grown elephants! Grace commented on how big the rock was and seemed fascinated that we would be able to walk under it one day as we looked at the cement pathway that was being constructed for it. I still think she liked being out in her pajamas for breakfast more.
I am looking forward to taking Grace back to visit the “Levitated Mass” once it’s fully constructed. And, who knows, maybe one day when she is all grown up she’ll look back and remember the day the “Rock” arrived at LACMA. The day we got to wear our pajamas to breakfast just to see a rock.
By: Tanya Ward Goodman
Hip LA mom writes about things to do in the city with your children.
Took the kids to LACMA recently on the first of what I’ve decided will be “Terrific Tuesdays”. Thanks to constant LAUSD budget cuts they get out of school early on Tuesdays and rather than spend these extra hours battling over who gets to watch television and why we can’t play computer games until nightfall, I thought it would be good to get out in the world and take advantage of some of the wonderful things Los Angeles has to offer.
I chose LACMA for our first adventure because I wanted to check out the brand new Lynda and Stewart Resnick Pavilion where there is currently an exhibition of gigantic stone carvings from Mexico. I thought the big primitive heads would be a source of great delight to my children, but they gave them only a quick glance and then headed into the costume exhibit where they oohed and ahhed over hoopskirts, bustles and corsets. My son chose a fox hunting costume complete with top hat and crimson-tailed jacket as his favorite while my daughter gravitated toward the all-white lace dresses from the 1800s. We made a quick run through the decorative arts exhibit and I asked pointed questions about the differences in the bronze sculptures of Roman gods and godesses and the big, crudely carved stone heads.
“They’re all people,” my son said.
The real treat for my kids was the bright red escalator that ascends three stories up the side of the new building and affords a terrific view of the surrounding neighborhood. They also greatly enjoyed the gigantic glass elevator in the Broad Contemporary museum while being only marginally impressed by the Koons balloon dog. We wondered why the inflatable pool toys stuffed into ladders and chain link fences were art, until a guide informed us that the toys were actually made of metal and painted to look like plastic. This crazy Koons magic trick was enough to temporarily “wow” the kids until my son started to wonder “why in the world you’d want to make an inflatable out of such heavy stuff as metal.”
We made a quick trot past the Picassos, a Matisse mosaic, a Rothko, and a couple of Pollacks before my son drew up quickly in front of a troupe of emaciated Giacometti sculptures.
“Hey, we’ve seen these before?”
“Yes,” I said. “Do you remember where?”
“They live at the Norton Simon,” he said.
“That’s right,” I said. “They were made by an artist named Alberto Giacometti.”
“He is a good artist for Halloween,” my daughter said.
“Because these people are a little like skeletons?” I asked.
“No,” she said, rolling her eyes. “Because Jack-O-Metti is like Jack-O-Lantern.”
Outside, we counted the streetlights in the arrangement dubbed “Urban Light” by Chris Urban. My son estimated somewhere between 175 and 200 while my daughter methodically counted each one and arrived at 21-million-billion. (Later, because I like to know these things, I looked it up. There are actually 202.)
We ran across the rain-sprinkled grass and checked in with the Mammoths in the tar pit (still stuck).
In two hours, we saw more “official museum art” than I saw in my first 10 years of life.
“What’d you think of the museum?” I asked as we braved the rainy afternoon traffic jams along Beverly Blvd.
“Boring,” my son said.
“I liked the elevator,” my daughter said.
Terrific Tuesdays. One down. Hundreds to go.