Mysterious Monoliths - pandemic art?
Do the mysterious monoliths popping up then vanishing around the world, have an historic message? Or are they just for fun during troubled times?
The triangular silver metal monoliths ranging from 2 - 3 metres tall have appeared in lonely and virtually inaccessible places in the Utah desert, Turkey, Germany, The Netherlands, the UK, Colombia and Congo's Kinshasa, amongst others.
The first one to be noticed was in November 2019 fixed into rock in an ancient site in the Utah desert. Then it disappeared just as mysteriously as it had arrived.
Much speculation ensued as to its meaning. The shiny surfaces reflected the changing desert light and made a fascinating and dynamic installation. Was this indeed a reclusive artist placing a Mary Corse style installation for his own amusement? Then once discovered, he removed it because the privacy of the work had been invaded?
Mary Corse is an American artist specializing in shiny surfaces and 3 dimension minimalist work. In 1965 she created triangular pillars as a statement of space and light. Today's monoliths do then, have an historical significance? Perhaps.
After Utah, a monolith appeared on top of Pine Mountain in San Gabriella, being the second highest peak in a national reserve in California. Hikers announced the discovery, then it too quickly vanished.
When a monolith appeared on Glastonbury Tor with a small rat etched into its surface, local artist Banksy wrote Not Banksy on it to clarify this was not his work, although he often used a rat as signature. It too vanished without trace 4 days after discovery.
To continue the inscription theme, another monolith appearing on the site of world's oldest temple in Göneklitepe, Turkey, was inscribed in ancient Göktürk, translating as: 'Look at the sky if you want to see the moon.'
In spite of the site being guarded and the government forbidding sight-seers, this installation too, disappeared without trace.
It strikes me as interesting to note that it seems all the installations have been marking ancient sites, from the temple at Göneklitepe, to Glastonbury Tor and the Isle of Wight, to the archeological dig on the Bâtca Doamnei plateau in Romania. All are significant places in history. Even the potato field in Baasrode, Belgium is near (or on) the site of 2nd-6th century grave sites dating to Gallo-Roman and Merovingian times, where La Tene artifacts were found.
The mystery continues to be unsolved, but offers a rich topic of conversation.