My Christo project; homage to the drape

Thursday, 10 March 2005

You remember that some vestige of me which the whiskey didn’t solve [Ed: that’s a science term for dissolve, kiddies] was stung when I was told I was good at technical work because I’m not an artist. But I think perhaps I can be. And maybe, someday, God willing, even as good a poet as Deborah Poe.

I remember fondly looking through the Janson and Gardner one day and discovering Christo’s heroic pink polypropylene surrounding 11 islands in the Biscayne Bay. I knew that I wasn’t excited by chromatic implications alone.

When I saw he was at it again with his fabulous The Gates in Central Park, Night Town, I knew it was the siren song, beckoning me to come. Both as a salute and a striving upwards of my own, I undertake this homage to the drape and my art hero with two backs, Christo and Jeanne-Claude.

A massive five part installation

The multi-hued drapes Illustration: 5 colored drapes Like The Gates, my work will involve having participants move into the site, and then out, and then back in, and out again. The repeated motion through the site beneath the multi-colored drapes is meant to stimulate an explosive emotional, even physical, response.

Putting up the works should be easy. They’ve been erected quickly and with rock-solid stability in all trials.

Once upright, the platform is draped in the first of the five colors. Then it is installed in the site. We anticipate this will require some force and might be dangerous so this phase of the project will probably be closed to the public.

Platform for drapes Illustration: the platform

After the first installation, the next four should go smoother. The order shall be red, yellow, purple, green, and blue. We had doubts about doing blue last but it seemed to make sense. If blue presents a problem we’re prepared to go with another color like champagne or gold.

Though we don’t yet have the necessary permissions, etc, we’ve been working hard on the drapes themselves. It’s been slow going as they are quite large.

Front view of site Illustration: the site

The installation itself is proving to be the most difficult part, as it seems with so many modern art projects. We’re having trouble getting the permits—there’s been a lot of back and forth—but we’re really looking forward to getting in and getting the process rolling.

Once we get some traction we should be able to plow ahead and keep it in motion for as long as it takes to fill the requirements. We’ve had mounting support ever since we announced we were in this for the long haul. Any interested parties are welcome to volunteer to hop on the train.

There’s no telling how long the project will stay up but we’re hoping the enthusiasm we have to repay Christo for everything he’s done for art will help to break some records.

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