Mysterious art ‘City’ of Nevada will be opened after 50 years
Michael Heizer’s City is neither a typical piece of sculpture nor a typical city in any practical sense. The artwork, which harkens back to the ruins of an old civilisation, may exist solely to arouse the senses, yet it nevertheless provides a moment of transcendence in the way that only the greatest pieces of art can.
City is a mile and a half long and about a mile wide, and it can be found in the Garden Valley region of Nevada, about three hours north of Las Vegas. For the past 50 years, Heizer has worked tirelessly to finish the project, which has so far cost him $40 million USD in donations from museums and private groups including the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
The Triple Aught Foundation, based in Nevada, owns and operates City, a site constructed entirely of non-intrusive materials like clay, sand, and rock, with the intention of drawing attention to the subtle variations in light and shadow that appear in the various crevices, mounds, and concrete curbs that dot the otherwise open landscape.
Heizer, at 77, is restless because, like any perfectionist, he does not think the project is complete. The artist told The New York Times, “I am a fool, alone, helplessly watching as they wait for me to die so they can turn my ranch into a gift shop and motel. This is a masterpiece, or close to it…and I am the only one who cares whether the thing is actually done.”
On September 2, the city will open its doors to the public for the first first time. Space is limited to just six people every trip due to the remote location and unpredictability of the desert climate, thus emailing [email protected] is needed. Adult tickets cost $150 USD, student tickets cost $100 USD, and entrance is free for residents of Lincoln, Nye, and White Pine counties in Nevada.