Friday night my husband and I watched a DVD that contained two films about Christo and Jeanne-Claude: their collaborative environmental installations Running Fence and Valley Curtain.
We are preparing for our trip to New York next month to see The Gates installed in Central Park. We’re so excited, but we want to make the most of this momentous occasion. So, in addition to the two films we watched on Friday, we have three more on the way. This is one of the main reasons I joined Netflix: because I can rent these kooky movies that no one who walks into Blockbusters seems to want. At least the selection on their shelves seem to indicate as much.
Watching the films, I was struck by two things:
- The artists went through an enormous amount of lobbying, organizing, talking, and frustrating situations in order to accomplish their dreams. I had always known that it took years, even decades, to complete their works. But it is amazing to see how much (and how many people!) they had to overcome.
- The most wonderful thing is the excitement of the blue-collar workers on the project. I imagine many of these men (mostly men) had walked through the doors of an art museum only because they tagged along on a class field trip as a child. I don’t want to propagate stereotypes, but they didn’t fit the description of the average museum visitor. No matter. Christo and Jeanne-Claude brought the art to them and made it meaningful to their world. And they were just as engaged and thrilled as the artists themselves.
I am looking forward to experiencing The Gates first hand–and sharing that experience on these pages.