Photographs by Alexis Chanes and Emma Sheffer

A Temporary Public Sculpture by Michael Parker

March 15th - September 12th 2014
Reception: Saturday March 15th @ 4pm to Sunset
The Bowtie Parcel
2800 Casitas Ave. (Apprx.)
Los Angeles, CA 90039

'The Unfinished.' KCET's Artbound.

The Unfinished is an obelisk-shaped excavation located along the banks of the channelized LA River. The horizontal excavation, dug into and through the asphalt of an empty industrial lot, will be a 137-foot to-scale replica of the Ancient Egyptian archeological site known as “The Unfinished Obelisk” For 6 months Parker will coordinate an array of collaborative events and performances on and around the obelisk. "The Unfinished" is a public action in the form of a temporary monument.

“The Unfinished Obelisk” was begun during the reign of Pharaoh Hatshepsut, as one of her many monumental architectural commissions. The obelisk was to be carved from a single piece of granite and stand 137-feet tall, dwarfing all prior obelisks. The project was abandoned when a fissure was discovered while carving directly into the quarry’s bedrock. For thousands of years the obelisk has laid in its broken, unfinished state, just a few miles from the Aswan Dam on the Nile River. Referred to as the High Dam, the dam was built in the 1960's to control annual floods, provide irrigation and generate hydroelectricity. To this day, the Unfinished Obelisk is the largest known ancient Egyptian obelisk, despite the fact that it has never been raised.

The Unfinished is an urban site-specific sculpture located on a post-industrial lot, recently acquired by the California State Park. Nicknamed "The Bowtie" for it's unique shape, this parcel of land is parallel to the Elysian Valley neighborhood, running along the historically scenic Glendale Narrows of the LA River. The lot is slated to become parkland in conjunction with the larger revitalization of the river.

Michael Parker is a Los Angeles based artist whose practice explores individual agency and collective action. He employs sculptures, publications and events to explore ideas of temporality, absurdity, pragmatism, hierarchy and consumption. His projects consistently engage with unexpected partners such as Cold Storage construction workers, Linemen-in-training or sauna enthusiasts in the Steam Egg . He has worked with the LA Department of Cultural Affairs, Human Resources, Machine Project, Public Fiction, Control Room, The Center for Land Use Interpretation and High Desert Test Sites. Michael holds a BA from Pomona College and an MFA from USC. He teaches sculpture at California State University, Long Beach.

Click on the map below for directions to the "The Unfinished".

From I-5 N -> Merge onto the CA-2 N -> Exit N. San Fernando Rd. -> Left onto San Fernando Rd. -> Left onto Fletcher Dr. -> Left onto La Clede Ave. -> Left onto Carillon St. -> Right onto Casitas Ave. -> Continue straight through the round about, past Extra Space Storage and Nelson Miller -> Enter through the gate with the orange road barrier -> There will be a yellow and brown CA State Parks sign on your left -> Continue down the road and park on the concrete slab to your right just before the bushes -> Continue straight on foot to The Unfinished.

From I-5 S -> Exit Fletcher Dr. -> Left onto Fletcher Dr. -> Right onto La Clede Ave -> Left onto Carillon St. -> Right onto Casitas Ave. -> Continue straight through the round about, past Extra Space Storage and Nelson Miller -> Enter through the gate with the orange road barrier -> There will be a yellow and brown CA State Parks sign on your left -> Continue down the road and park on the concrete slab to your right just before the bushes -> Continue straight on foot to The Unfinished.

For more on the process, the people and the events to come follow here.

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On the Obelisk

Sunday Afternoons at The Unfinished

August 3, 2-6pm

The Unfinished will be open to the public the first Sunday of each month beginning Sunday May 4th from 2-6pm. Parking is available on site. Children and dogs welcome.

Sunday Afternoons at The Unfinished

September 7, 2-6pm

The Unfinished will be open to the public the first Sunday of each month beginning Sunday May 4th from 2-6pm. Parking is available on site. Children and dogs welcome.

Past Events

Los Angeles County Bike Collective Ride to The Unfinished

Sunday July 6th @ 12pm, Ride Out @ 12:30pm

The Unfinished will also be open this day to the general public as part of it's monthly schedule from 2-6pm. Parking is available on site. Children and dogs welcome.

Katie Grinnan & The Summer Solstice

Saturday June 21st
Wizard Brew Drinks @7pm
Performance @7:45pm Sharp

Artist Katie Grinnan and her Astrology Orchestra will perform on "The Unfinished" in celebration of the 2014 Summer Solstice and the longest day of the year. Grinnan and her brewery Wizard Brew, will also be serving a special beer for the occasion made from an ancient egyptian recipe.

The Astrology Orchestra is a system-based composition that uses astrology to map out Grinnan's birth chart from the perspective of the planets in our solar system. The Astrology Orchestra has played at multiple sites; around the 60 inch telescope at the Mount Wilson Observatory as part of the show KNOWLEDGES, at the Venice Beach Biennial organized by Ali Subotnick, at the Integratron presented by LAND, and most recently at Human Resources, a culminating show with video footage of the three sites also presented and supported by LAND. Each context serves as a different lens, through which to view the orchestra, shifting the way the piece is perceived.

Grinnan has exhibited at the Whitney Museum in New York, MOCA in Los Angeles, and Modern Art Oxford in the UK. She will participate in the upcoming show Made in L.A. at the Hammer Museum as part of the Los Angeles Museum of Art (LAMOA). Grinnan lives and works in LA.

Katie Grinnan, Astrology Orchestra, exhibition installation view, 2014. A LAND (Los Angeles Nomadic Division) Exhibition.
Image courtesy of Jeff Mclane

First-Ever LA River Campout

Saturday May 31st @ 7:00pm to Sunday June 1st @ 10:00am

California State Parks, Clockshop and MRCA invite you to join us for the first-ever LA River public campout. We are pleased to present an evening of outdoor exploration at the Rio de Los Angeles Bowtie parcel followed by a traditional campfire program and night under the stars. This one-night opportunity will allow Angelenos a chance to camp inside the city, on the banks of the scenic LA River Glendale Narrows.

More info here .

Egyptologist Maggie Geoga reads "The Doomed Prince"

Friday April 11, 2014 @3pm

Egyptologist Maggie Geoga will read the ancient Egyptian story “The Doomed Prince” at the Bowtie Parcel on the site of Michael Parker's The Unfinished. Dating from the 18th Dynasty and translated from Hieratic text, the story is one of the most frustrating and famous of the ancient Egyptian texts. Preserved on Papyrus in the British Museum of London, the original ending of the story was lost in an explosion. Eternally incomplete, the story has been translated dozens of times and the ending continually speculated upon by readers and scholars alike for decades.

Maggie Geoga is a graduate student in Egyptology at Brown University, where she studies ancient Egyptian language and literature. She has worked at the Field Museum in Chicago, assisting in the collection and analysis of CT scans of Egyptian human and animal mummies and working on the Predynastic Project. Her research interests include ancient Egyptian conceptions of truth and fiction in historical writing, the transmission of narrative texts across time and space, the love songs of Deir el-Medina, and mortuary religion in the Pyramid Texts.

Live broadcast on KCHUNG Radio with music by DJ Hollywood Nites.

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This work is produced by Clockshop as part of Frogtown Futuro with additional support provided by an ARC grant from the Center for Cultural Innovation and in collaboration with California State Parks.

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