The Unfinished

July 28, 2014 — Leave a comment

The Unfinished is an obelisk-shaped excavation by Michael Parker 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. 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 its 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 a parkland in conjunction with the larger revitalization of the river. Bringing together both his sculptural and social practices, this new work questions how a public action in the form of a temporary monument functions in 2014. This work is produced by Clockshop, an arts + culture non-profit as part of Frogtown Futuro.

Screen Shot 2014-07-27 at 10.59.08 PM

Photographs by Alexis Chanes and Emma Sheffer

WHAT: The Unfinished 
First Sunday of each month March 15 – September 12, 2014 | 2:00 – 6:00 pm
WHERE: 2800 Casitas Avenue (Approximately) | Los Angeles, CA 90039


  • Parking is available on site
  • Children and dogs welcome


SOCIAL MEDIA: Facebook | Twitter | InstagramTumblr

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