Hardfact-Kosso Eloul


Almost every day I walk passed the Molecular and Life Science building and see a giant concrete and steel sculpture looming over the hill I never had any idea what it was. To me, it just looked like something with a slice taken out of it, and I actually could never find exactly what it stood for. However, I could find this.

Hardfact was a sculpture created by a Russian man named Kosso Eloul, who also helped organize the California Institute Sculpture Symposium. He was born in 1920 and has had his work represented in many cultures and countries. He was born in Russia, yet he represented Israel in the twenty ninth Venice Biennale. After, he settled in Canada, where much of his work is displayed, yet he still has sculptures in the US and his most famous work, Eternal Flame, is displayed in Jerusalem. Yet even with his achievements the sculpture that haunts the hill at CSULB is Hardfact.

Hardfact is a giant sculpture measuring 175 x 74 x 1539 inches and constructed from steel and concrete. Eloul constructed this sculpture to challenge himself as he had not (nor had many people in 1965) worked on binding steel to concrete. Because of this, he worked with Leo Gatzek, a space technologist who consulted on Apollo and Saturn lunar vehicles. Not only did Gatzek help, but North American Aviation helped subsidize the construction of Hardact as well. Harfact was built to represent the union of these materials (concrete and steel) and the industries had to come over to make it a reality.

Although I couldn’t find a specific meaning for Hardfact I did find what Eloul wanted one to feel when standing before it. He said “The fusion of [steel and concrete] gave me something that I could not have achieved with either of them singly: the tension and the power of the metal—hard, clear, tense and dynamic—combined with the tremendous feeling of weight and stability of concrete. I want a man standing in front of it to…be very much alone with it, react to it and be activated by it—very privately.” I think that this shows how one Is supposed to be in awe by the sculpture, yet be at peace with oneself. I also think the placement on the hill adds to the haunting nature of the sculpture.

At the end of the day, I find it interesting that students and faculty can walk passed this sculpture every day and most have no idea what it is, even though it has been there since 1965, yet it is undoubtedly a recognizable feature of long beach state.

(All of this information, including the quote can be found at http://web.csulb.edu/org/uam/HTML/collections/SCULPTURE/19Eloul.html)

One Comment

  1. Katarina Stiller

    Cool post! I quite like this sculpture though I never really paid much attention to it until last year. I found it interesting how much the sculpture has changed over the years, mostly as a direct result of HSCI happenings. It’s had to physically change locations to accommodate HSCI construction and was more recently painted black–the HSCI construction team mistakenly thought it was part of the HSCI building when they were tasked with painting the building. It’s on the UAM’s list of sculptures desperately in need of renovations.

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