Best hike ever

When Santa Monica's 18th Street Arts Center asked Lita Albuquerque to restage her 1980 work Spine of the Earth, she didn't think the process would become a work all its own. The first time around, Albuquerque and a team of assistants were working in the El Mirage dry lake bed, using blood-red powdered pigment to create interlocking geometric shapes against the stark flats of the Mojave Desert. Unable to re-create the work outside the city, Albuquerque moved to the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook, home to a dramatic panoramic view. But when she learned the pigment would stain the steps of a beloved running trail, she replaced painting with something bigger: 500 volunteers in robes, unfurling across the landscape, not unlike a paintbrush in the desert. What was once a desert pilgrimage has become an intervention into the humdrum of the everyday. Because it's held in a public park, there'll be nothing to stop a jogger from weaving through the red-robed procession. And the best view of the skydiver who kicks off the performance — a stand-in for the aerial perspective that's key to understanding the original work — might be from a car on the Santa Monica Freeway. And that's cool with Albuquerque. "If the original was about utilizing the Earth as a blank canvas," she says, "then this is about the movement of people in this extraordinary city."
Sun., Jan. 22, 11 a.m., 2012

Use Current Location

Related Location

Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook

6300 Hetzler Rd.
Culver City, CA 90232

Upcoming Events


Sponsor Content


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >