04w09:1 The Gates Roundup

by timothy. 0 Comments

Good Reads Mailing List | 2005 week 9 number 1 (The Gates roundup)

——————————————————————— The closer you got, the worse it looked | Sarah Milroy
“By any estimation, as an intervention into public space, The Gates must be measured a triumph, unleashing a frolicsome joie de vivre in the direst depths of winter — no mean feat. The vibe even swept over the 49th parallel to engulf our own northern breed of pale, thin-lipped hibernators, many of whom migrated south en masse to check out the great event. […]What has been revealed in New York over the past few weeks is that Christo and Jean-Claude are brilliant strategists, passionate advocates for freedom of expression, with an unparalleled ability to mobilize the public behind an idea. But they are not strictly speaking sculptors, in the traditional sense of being form makers. Their wrapping and draping projects have been great because they adhere to, and enhance, three-dimensional forms that exist already. The artists then lay claim to these forms, designating them as things of beauty, drawing our attention to their historical or topographical resonances, and setting them alight with shimmering fabrics as a way of declaring their transcendence, and the transcendence of the human imagination. These works are works of genius. The Gates, alas, was something rather less.”

With $3.50 and a Dream, the ‘Anti-Christo’ Is Born | Sarah Boxer
“You’ve seen Christo’s ‘Gates’ in Central Park. But what about Hargo’s ‘Gates’ in Somerville, Mass.? Sure, Hargo is unabashedly riding on the coattails of Christo and Jeanne-Claude. But it did take him some time to make his gates: 0.002 years, he estimates. That’s a good chunk of a day. You may as well take a look: not-rocket-science.com/gates.htm”

Gated | Peter Schjeldahl
“Of course, ‘The Gates’ is art, because what else would it be? Art used to mean paintings and statues. Now it means practically anything human-made that is unclassifiable otherwise. This loss of a commonsense definition is a big art-critical problem, but not in Central Park, not this week. What the artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude have been doing for three and a half decades is self-evident. They propose a grandiose, entirely pointless alteration of a public place, then advance their plan in the face of a predictable public and bureaucratic resistance, which gradually comes to seem mean-spirited and foolish for want of a reasonable argument against them. They build a constituency of supporters, including collectors who help finance the project by buying Christo’s drawings and collages of it. What then occurs is like an annual festival – Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, a high-school prom – without the parts about its being annual or a festival. It feels vaguely religious. The zealous installers and minders, identifiable on site by their uniforms and chatty pride, are like acolytes. As with any ritual – though ‘The Gates’ can’t be a ritual, because it is performed just once – how people behave during the installation is what it is for and about. Then it’s gone, before it has a chance to become boring or, for that matter, interesting. “

The Gates on The Daily Show | The Daily Show
“Simply put, The Gates is a triumph Jon, an artistic milestone that may finally put New York on the cultural map. I don’t want to get ahead of myself here Jon, but I think this may do for the Big Apple what The West Wing has done for Washington DC, or what the band Asia did for that continent.”

Conceptual Advertising | Timothy Comeau
“In yesterday’s Globe and Mail [Simon Houpt wrote] ‘The most enlightening comment I’ve heard so far about The Gates came from a man who had no idea what it was,’ writes Houpt, ‘I don’t mean he couldn’t parse the meanings of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s 7,5000 five-metre high doorframes hung with fabric around Central Park, or that he didn’t know whether to call it conceptual art or environmental art or an installation. No, this guy didn’t even know it was art. […] He’d somehow missed all the pre-event press coverage. So as he gazed northward at the thousands of orange shower curtains flapping in the wind, he turned and asked me, ‘Are they advertising that fabric? ‘Christo and Jeanne-Claude call their piece ‘interventions’ because they intrude, or impose themselves and their works, on public spaces. This apparently freaks us out. We’re used to one very specific sort of intervention: commercial ones, otherwise known as advertisements. Indeed, many visitors to Central Park have quipped that it’s a shame the artists don’t accept sponsorships, since the nylon orange is a perfect match for the corporate colours of Home Depot’. ”

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emailed by Timothy on Monday 28 February 2005 @ 2:54 PM

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