When a thing is seen through the consciousness of temporality, it is changed into something that is nothing. This all-engulfing sense provides the mental ground for the object, so that it ceases being a mere object and becomes art. The object gets to be less and less but exists as something clearer. Every object, if it is art, is charged with the rush of time even though it is static, but all this depends on the viewer. Robert Smithson, 1968, from “A Sedimentation of the Mind: Earth Projects.”
Michael Heizer’s current exhibit “Altars” at Gagosian New York includes “negative wall sculptures featuring metamorphic and igneous rocks.” Heizer, son of renowned California archaeologist Robert Heizer, is best known for his massive landscape modifications - “land artworks.” Along with Robert Smithson and a few others he transformed how we modernists encounter landscape. These interventions often were/are of huge scale and scope. Or, as Heizer reminds us: Size is real. Scale is imagined size.
Spectacularly sized and imagined, Heizer’s Levitated Mass moved across California in 2012 to be permanently installed at Los Angeles County Museum of Art: See rockartoregon post January 31, 2014: Freeing The Rocks: Four Potentials
Michael Heizer. Potato Chip, 2015. 18-ton granite rock in stell (sic) frame. 172×106 ¾’×92 inches. Photo by Rob McKeever courtesy the Gagosian website.