Following the groundbreaking at Los Angeles State Historic Park, General Jackson and his wife Susan took a trip to the Rio de Los Angeles State Park “Bowtie” parcel for a look at an unusual public art project adjacent to the Los Angeles River. General Jackson met with artist Michael Parker who had just completed his sculpture “The Unfinished,” based on an Egyptian archaeological site known as the “Unfinished Obelisk.” Michael’s project involved excavating a 137 foot to-scale replica of the obelisk in Aswan, commissioned by Pharaoh Hatshepsut, which cracked before being completed and was consequently abandoned on site. Michael described his obelisk lying in wait next to the LA River as “a place to think about hierarchy and individual agency and the possible capabilities of a collective force.” Indeed the project was a shared undertaking, as State Parks aided Michael in clearing otherwise daunting bureaucratic hurdles, such as the environmental review process and permitting. Parks maintenance staff provided tools and technical assistance, and the “excavation” itself was performed as a collaborative effort by Michael’s students from the Cal State Long Beach Sculpture program, other artists, and friends.
Situated on an undeveloped parcel next to the only soft-bottomed section of the Los Angeles River known as the Glendale Narrows, the site and the project offer visitors the opportunity to view the river from an entirely new perspective – normally off limits to the general public. The project was completed in partnership with Clockshop, a non-profit arts and culture organization based in Elysian Park, or “Frogtown.” Clockshop wanted to include “The Unfinished” as part of their “Frogtown Furturo” series which takes a critical and varied look at the forces of river revitalization in their neighborhood. A special bonus for Michael was receiving permission to camp on-site during the construction and working into the wee hours to finish “The Unfinished.” Accompanied by the sound of flowing river and birds it was easy to imagine the Bowtie as it might be someday – a naturalized park and campsite nestled in the midst of urban Los Angeles. Extensive coverage of the project can be found on the KCET website
Michael Parker oversees the excavation Friday night
Camping at the Bowtie was a bonus!
Cornerstone Theater Company
For those of you with an interest in the the Los Angeles River, or any curious Angelenos who enjoy theater in an unusual setting, be sure not to miss the Cornerstone Theater Company’s production of Touch the Water. Part of Cornerstone Theater’s four year series, the Justice Cycle, Touch the Water fittingly focuses on environmental justice issues related to the turbulent history of the Los Angeles River, from devestating floods, to channelization of the river for flood control, to current revilatilaztion efforts. Told from the perspective of characters with deep connections to the Los Angeles River, be they animal, human, or spirits in between, the play explores the complex intersection of nature, community and a wildly heterogenous urban environment.
The setting of the play is ideal, occuring in an undeveleloped section of Rio de Los Angeles State Park. The stage set overlooks the Glendale Narrows which is the longest natural section of the Los Angeles River. The natural riparian environment provides habitat for egrets, heron, black-necked stilt, and other water fowl that may sometimes also be seen in the less scenic regions of the 52 mile concrete river channel. LASHP staff was on hand last Saturday for a pre-performmance reception and viewing, and was throughoughly enchanted by the natural river beneath an immense and spectacularly cloudy sky. If you are interested in seeing the play, it is running for only two more weeks, so hurry up. Click the link below for more information.
Touch the Water
Pre-Play River Walk
Come to Los Angeles State Historic Park on Sunday, March 22 at 9:00am to march for water conservation and water awareness. From MarchforAwareness.com
This march seeks to help bring attention to the present water crisis taking place all over the world, our nation, the state and the City of Los Angeles. We believe that the current “crisis status” stems from the poor management of this resource at all levels.
We chose March 22nd so our march would coincide with World Water Day. Through this march we take on the commitment to bring people together on this most important topic and resource. While bringing awareness to local issues relating to water, we also have an opportunity to bring attention to world water issues impacting fellow humans around the world.
Only about 2.5 percent of the Earth’s water is fresh and suitable for drinking. Climate change, pollution, and the unsustainable use of water are depleting this limited supply. In Peru, nearly all drinking water comes from glaciers that are melting fast and may be completely gone by 2015. Across Africa, all 667 major lakes are drying up. Lake Chad, once the third-largest lake in Africa, has shrunk by 90 percent.
The march is from LASHP to Rio de Los Angeles State Park (roughly 3 miles), so wear good walking shoes, bring money for food and your own reusable water bottle. Click here for more infomation