The La Jolla Project

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The La Jolla Project

The presence of the past is everywhere. One does not have to look very far to realize that the past has quite an influence on the present. In fact, there are a few examples of modern works of art at the University of California, San Diego, that bring to mind architectural works of the past. One such example is the La jolla Project, which is a collection of stone blocks on top of a hill on the Revelle College lawn south of Galbraith Hall. The isolated groups of blocks refer to architectural elements such as columns, posts, lintels, windows, and doors; but the collection, as a whole, resembles a modern reconstruction of Stonehenge. The La Jolla Project and Stonehenge differ from each other in many ways, but they also share some striking silmilarities that are constant reminders that the past is very much a part of modern life.

The La Jolla Project is the third work in the Stuart Collection, which is a group of site-specific sculptural works at the University of California, San Diego. The La Jolla Project was installed by Richard Fleischner and was completed in 1984. The Project consists of 71 blocks of pink and gray granite (Stuart Collection 5). All the blocks are rectangular in shape and range from about 3 to 15 feet in length. The stones were quarried in New England and cut near Providence, Rhode Island, where the artist lives (Stuart Collection 6).

Unlike the La Jolla Project, Stonehenge was probably not an abstract sculptural installation made of polished granite blocks. Stonehenge was built starting in 3100 B.C.E.(Encyclopedia Brittanica 287). The builders used mostly sarsen, a gray sandstone. Bluestones, or blocks of bluish dolerite, were also used. The number of stones used is unknown because the present structure of Stonehenge is the product of at least four major building phases. The stones have endured many centuries of rough weather and erosion.

Stonehenge is located on Salisbury Plain in Southern England. Although it is not the largest henge (circle of stones) of the Neolithic Period, it is a remarkable site because it is one of the most complicated megalithic sites. Stonehenge was repeatedly reworked from 3100 to 1500 B.C.E. (Encyclopedia Brittanica 287). Each new major building phase added new elements to the site. The present-day arrangement at Stonehenge is the result of the last building phase which ended nearly 3,500 years ago.

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