The article outlines, briefly, the debate surrounding a proposed Christo/Jeanne-Claude work titled Over the River, which would be installed along the Arkansas River between Canon City and Salida here in Colorado.
The author writes:
And if the "Over the River" opponents win, this area might get just as much traffic and congestion as people flock to see "the place that turned Christo down." But either way, it ought to be a decision made by the public, not by a federal agency.
I understand his point on one hand. I’m all for democracy. And Christo/Jeanne-Claude installations engage much more of the public space than almost all other artists combined. However, the mere thought of letting the public make major decisions about art makes me shiver.
Update: Rachel Hawthorn commented below:
At the same time – I would shiver at the idea of a federal agency making decisions about art as well – I think that the public should have a voice in public art (which is essentially what Christo and Jeanne-Claude make, regardless of their funding). The BLM isn’t an art agency, their only input should be on the environmental impact statement.
She’s absolutely right! I just picked out that one part of the argument, but there is the other side as well. If the public doesn’t decide, the BLM decides.
What other options would there be?
Of course, this is the fascinating thing about the art of C/JC. It involves so many people, organizations, entities.