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Kicking The Ass Of All Other Natural Installations

from The Washington Post

Shocks & Awe: Mysterious Art in New Mexico

‘Lightning Field’ Jolts Visitors With an Array of Meanings

By Blake GopnikWashington Post Staff Writer

QUEMADO, N.M. – Only six people are allowed to see it every day, and only for six months of the year.

It’s thousands of miles from the big art scenes on either coast, and hours from the nearest city.

lf.jpgPhotos are not allowed, so it barely even circulates in pictures.

There’s even a tiny chance that, if you don’t follow instructions, it could help you wind up dead.

And yet, for many of the few who’ve made the pilgrimage, it turns out to be “one of the great works of art of the last century.”

That, at least, was the judgment of one art-historian friend, not usually prone to hyperbole, when he returned from a summer visit to “The Lightning Field,” a huge work of “land art” hidden in the middle of New Mexico. His rave got me to go.

A classic patch of sagebrush-covered land, set on an empty plateau 7,200 feet high. A ring of jagged mountains at its edges, out-cliche-ing any Hollywood western. And in the middle, 400 lightning rods, custom-made from stainless steel and laid out in a grid that stretches a mile in one direction and a kilometer in the other. Set 220 feet apart, the rods tower to several times the height of a tall man; whatever kind of mound or furrow they get planted in, their tops all reach to the same table-flat height.

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Posted on August 25, 2009 by Editor

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