The Gates: An installation by Christo and Jeanne Claude Christo
Central Park, New York, February 12 – February 28, 2005
February 19, 2005
Want to go to a really big party? Want to see what a multi national, polyglot, block party looks and sounds like while it’s strolling google eyed at 7500 steel and plastic “gates” covered with 1,067,330 square feet of brilliant saffron colored, recyclable, rip-stop fabric and temporarily plunked over 23 miles of NYC’s Central Park trails and paths?
Get in your car, take a bus, hop the train, hitch a ride, just get to NYC to enjoy this wonder. Total strangers start up conversations with each other, passers-by offer to take the photo so you can stand with your family, significant other, or the family pooch, with a magnificent backdrop of billowing saffron shimmering in the breeze.
It’s like an old fashioned love in, now playing in the nation’s grandest city park. And on February 28, poof. It will be dismantled, disappear and become an urban legend. Most visitors will revert to their insular habits, roller-blading and cell phoning their way through the park.
Is it art, is it farce, who cares? Why does it work? Is it the brilliant saffron color; or the immense scale of the project; or the Central Park setting that Frederick Law Olmsted, another visionary, designed in 1858? You’ve got to love that these two artists have been trying to get their Gates installed since 1979.
It’s nothing but nylon, plastic, and steel but it’s turned out to be the best kind of interactive device of this young century, an oasis for the spirit. Thousands of participants are looking one another in the eye, talking to one another, and sharing from some invisible well of good will. That’s art that borders on a divine plan.
for info, photos go to http://www.christojeanneclaude.net/tg.html