The Unfinished is an obelisk-shaped excavation located along the banks of the channelized LA River at the Bowtie Project. The horizontal excavation, dug into and through the asphalt of a post-industrial freight-train depot, is a 137-foot to-scale replica of the Ancient Egyptian archeological site known as “The Unfinished Obelisk.”
“The Unfinished Obelisk” was carved during the reign of Pharaoh Hatshepsut, as one of her many monumental architectural commissions. The obelisk was carved from a single piece of granite, intended to stand 137-feet tall, dwarfing all prior obelisks. As laborers were nearly ready to release its fourth side from the bedrock, a fissure was discovered. For thousands of years the obelisk has laid in its broken, unfinished state, a stones throw 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.
The Unfinished was produced with additional support provided by an ARC grant from the Center for Cultural Innovation.