Los Angeles

Michael Heizer

Museum of Contemporary Art "Temporary Contemporary"

Since the late ’60s Michael Heizer has “cut,” “dragged,” “elevated,” “isolated,” “compressed,” “levitated,” and “collapsed” objects in relation to their sites, revealing each as tensive situations. The word “tensive” is significant: with its root, the verb form “tense,” and like the words “dragged” or “isolated,” it can express a passive state of matter or an action. Heizer’s droll one-liners precisely describe certain physical conditions of sculpture, as well as the procedures by which those conditions are exposed. A boulder cut is a cut boulder. Indeed, Heizer’s work is typified by a state of suspended activity or pause in which an idea, an action, and an effect are sequential versions of each other. He works, one might say, in the gap between movement and stasis. Thus by isolating a fragment from its source Heizer defines a situation in which mass is understood in terms of its relative

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