The Unfinished
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 archaeological site known as “The Unfinished Obelisk.”

“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 to 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 a parkland in conjunction with the larger revitalization of the river. Bringing together both his sculptural and social practices, this new work by Michael Parker 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.
The Future of the Unfinished Obelisk
The Future of the Unfinished Obelisk
Artist Michael Parker will be engaging with the public over the next six months with a series of programs at "The Unfinished" site along the L.A. River.
A Brief History of Public Art and the L.A. River
A Brief History of Public Art and the L.A. River
"The Unfinished" is the latest in a vibrant line of public art projects that have played a major role in reimagining and redesigning the L.A. River.
The Unfinished: The Meaning of the Obelisk
The Unfinished: The Meaning of the Obelisk
The Unfinished obelisk in Aswan raises questions about hierarchy and failed power structures in Egypt 2,500 years ago.
The Unfinished: The Recumbant Site
The Unfinished: The Recumbant Site
"The Unfinished" will remake an Egyptian archaeological site, with tools, materials and labor available along the Los Angeles River.
The Unfinished: An Obelisk Along the L.A. River
The Unfinished: An Obelisk Along the L.A. River
The Unfinished, an urban site-specific sculpture along the L.A. River by Michael Parker, questions how a public action in the form of a temporary monument functions in 2014.
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