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The GatesAny site specific choreography?

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#46 Mel Johnson

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Posted 24 February 2005 - 06:29 PM

What bothers me is reading that the stuff is nylon. Part of the original contract with the city was that all remnants of the installation were to be biodegradable, and nylon will be that as long as you give it, say, 200,000 years. Has anyone ever read Motel of the Mysteries which is an interpretation of an archaeological dig which uncovers a motel and interprets the whole thing as a religious shrine? It's funny.

#47 Quiggin


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Posted 25 February 2005 - 12:34 AM

Regarding the orange of the Gates, here is Hal Foster in the latest issue of the London Review of Books:

Yet the hue was off, at least to my eyes: the light orange was too close to both the bleached green of the grass and the smoky grey of the trees to make for a vivid contrast. Sometimes the banners did catch the light or the breeze to flow like veils or shimmer like kites, but often the nylon hung rather dull and limp like big tarps or giant laundry. Red would have been better, or black or white, but all these colours have political associations, and everything about The Gates was dictated by an assiduous avoidance of any such significance. It’s easy to understand why: Christo and Jeanne-Claude first petitioned to do the piece in 1979 but acquired the permit only in 2003 (their lawyers might be considered co-authors as well). Perhaps as a result, the colour, the materials, the very design are bland, stripped of any edge. It was quite a feat to set up so many gates in America today and not prompt any reference to security checks and immigration outrages. But no colour is entirely without association. ‘It’s the orange of police cones,’ my wife said as we entered the park; ‘it looks like a Princeton reunion run amok.’ Princeton’s ‘school colour’ is taken from William of Orange, and if this work were placed in Belfast, a civil war would break out; even in this city in another time The Gates might have turned into ‘The Gangs of New York’.

Foster also gives some backgound on Christo's borrowings from avant garde ideas of the 1920's.
London Review of Books

As a footnote let me add that when I used to work in Central Park, we used to dread events like this because of the stress on the park, at least in summer. When Pocahontas was premiered, Disney requested that the branches of old trees be cut at a straight line to facilitate projection of "the show." The arborists, bless their hearts, refused.

#48 sandik


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Posted 25 February 2005 - 01:44 PM

Has anyone ever read Motel of the Mysteries which is an interpretation of an archaeological dig which uncovers a motel and interprets the whole thing as a religious shrine?  It's funny.


I love all of David Macaulay's work, but this one is special -- I particularly love the gradual change in the archaeologists, so that when one of them decides to actually use the relics from the motel in a ritual, there's real tenderness in it.

#49 Mary J

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Posted 02 March 2005 - 08:39 AM

I thought I was the only one who read Motel of the Mysteries! It was given to me by someone with a wacky sense of humor who haunts used book shops. The illustrations are amazingly complex.

I went to see the Gates last Wednesday, and I enjoyed the spectacle. On a sunny day, with bright blue sky and the wind blowing, the saffron color and relative stiffness of the fabric made the Gates seem festive and flag-like. The effect of the Gates on my perception of hills and curved paths was rather dramatic - I was seeing things about the park that I do not normally "see." The color really is NOT orange, to my eyes. It has virtually no red to it. Throngs of people filled every section of the park, and the vast majority of them were smiling, and interested. Not many works of "art" (however it can be defined) have that effect any more.

#50 Guest_nycdog_*

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Posted 05 March 2005 - 07:07 AM

The New York Times investigates the true cost of 'The Gates...'


"Approached by a reporter who offered his hand in greeting, Christo hesitated before slowly reciprocating with a gloved hand, palm down, in the manner of royalty. Asked how he calculated the total cost of the project, Christo's eyes narrowed and he stepped back, waving his hand dismissively.

"How do you calculate 26 years of meetings, negotiations, planning, design?" he said."

#51 atm711


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Posted 05 March 2005 - 10:37 AM

While the show was being taken down, a bystander thanked Jean Claude for the display---and she said "Don't thank us -- we didn't do it for you -- Artists do it for themselves". :tiphat:

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