17 Aralık 2008 Çarşamba

Christo & Jeanne Claude by Gokhan Demir

Christo and Jeanne-Claude are a married couple who create environmental installation art. Their works include the wrapping of the Reichstag in Berlin and the Pont Neuf bridge in Paris, the 24-mile-long curtain called Running Fence in Marin and Sonoma counties in California, and most recently The Gates in New York City's Central Park.

Although their work is visually impressive and often controversial as a result of its scale, the artists have repeatedly denied that their projects contain any deeper meaning than their immediate aesthetic. The purpose of their art, they contend, is simply to make the world a "more beautiful place" or to create new ways of seeing familiar landscapes. They achieve this by creating unique projects like wrapping buildings and bridges. They spend lots of time and effort in order to prepare their projects.

Subject&details are like newly created by Christo and Jeanne (e.g wrapping of buildings). Camera angle usually helps their subjects to look larger and more effective by making buildings even larger.

“I should repeat that our projects are not works of painting or sculpture but have elements of urbanism and architecture. Also, the temporal character of the project is an esthetic decision. I and Jeanne-Claude would like our projects to challenge and question the people's notion of art. The temporal character of the project challenges the immortality of art. Is art immortal? Is art forever? Is building things in gold and silver and stones to be remembered forever? It is a kind of naiveté and arrogance to think that this thing stays forever, for eternity. It probably takes greater courage to go away than to stay. All these projects have this strong dimension of missing, of self-effacement, that they will go away, like our childhood. our life. They create a tremendous intensity when they are there for a few days. When they are there for 14 days, they create an urgency and sympathy because they are going to go away, they will disappear. All this is translated into a nomadic quality, like the tribes in the Sahara and Tibet. It is translated by the biggest amount of material in this project. This project has fabric, ropes, steel, aluminum, but the biggest amount is the fabric, the cloth. The cloth is the principal element to translate the vulnerability, the temporariness and the fragility of the work, very much like a nomadic tribe that moves through the desert. They fold their tents and overnight they could build an entire village and the next day they would be gone. This is why this project is prepared off-site for several months, but the final installation is a very fast, very fresh operation.”

“The important thing to see is how we really moved to the outer space. Everything in the world is owned by somebody: somebody designed the sidewalks, or the streets, even the highway, somebody even designed the airways. 24 hours around the clock, we move in a highly precise space designed by politicians, urban planners, and of course that space is full of regulations, ownerships, jurisdictions, meanings. I love that space. We go in that space and we create gentle disturbances in that space. Basically, we are borrowing that space and use it intricately for a short time.”

Christo and Jeanne-Claude prepared for their next project, "The Umbrellas". Then the plan was to have yellow and blue umbrellas set up in California and Japan at the same time. In December 1990, after much preparation, the first bases for the screens were laid. At the bases 80 cm long anchors were fastened to the ground to withstand tensions of 1,500 kgf (15 kN). In September 1991 the screens were brought to their places by 2,000 workers. In order to preserve the countryside, the bases were transported to the site by helicopter. The final cost of the project totaled $26 US million. By 7 September, 1,340 blue screens in Ibaraki and 1,760 yellow screens at the Tejon Ranch in southern California had been set up; the exhibition opened on 9 October 1991. In total, 3 million people saw the screens, each measuring 6 meters in height and 8.66 meters in diameter. The umbrellas became a huge tourist attraction, finding use as everything from picnic spots to wedding altars.


Claude, Christo and Jeanne, Interview.Journal of Contemporary Art, Inc.,

Ddecco. 1991 Umbrella Project(Japan)

“Christo and Jeanne Claude” 1 December 2008

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