Richard Serra's Newest Installation Is In The Middle Of The Qatari Desert

'East-West/West-East' spans roughly half a mile through the desert and is 60 kilometers from Qatar's capital. Good luck seeing it IRL.

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Apr 9 2014, 1:50pm

Minimalist sculpture maestro, Richard Serra, has debuted a new installation that, well, can't actually be viewed in real life (at least not with ease). East-West/West-East, which stretches over 800 meters through the Qatari desert near the Brouq Nature Reserve, includes four steel monolithic structures measured and scaled by their relation to the topography, according to Artlyst.

The metal plates are level to one another, and despite the great distance among them, all four can be seen from both ends of the half-mile-long installation. As Gizmodo aptly notes, this is shockingly similar to the ominous desert sculpture in Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. 

The work was commissioned by named Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the chairwoman of the Qatar Museum and known as one of the art world's most notorious figures. The installation also coincides with the Serra's first solo show in the Middle East at AL RIWAQ DOHA Exhibition Space and QMA Gallery at Katara. There, visitors can see his new work, titled Passage of Time, including two 66.5-meter-long, 4-meter-tall steel curves that weave through the artspaces, as well as earlier work from the sculpture legend. 

Unless you pack some desert survival gear, good luck taking selfies in front of East-West/West-East. See some photos of Kubrick's take on the desert monolith below for comparison. 

Above is a map view of the Brouq Nature Reserve, roughly where the installation stands

The monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey

h/t Gizmodo

@zachsokol

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