Art a GoGo
reviews 5 Films About Christo and Jeanne-Claude
by Kathleen Lang
If you canít make it
to New York to see the Gates, but are interested in learning more
about the art of Christo and Jeanne-Claude, this DVD disc set
is a great place to start.
Artists Christo and
Jeanne-Claude are best known for their site-specific installations
that wrap an architectural monument: wrapping the Pont Neuf bridge
in Paris with a silky fabric. They can also re-define a landscape:
a 24 mile "fence" of fabric across Marin and Sonoma county farmland
or simultaneously open 3,100 enormous umbrellas across the landscape
of Japan and California.
Their projects have
been enormous in terms of scale, cost and planning. Sometimes
it can take years for the artists to obtain the required permits
to carry out their plans. Their earlier projects were mired in
controversy as they persevered through the permit process and
their philosophy to "create works of art of joy and beauty." There
is no purpose whatsoever she says, "it's just a work of art."
But if you are familiar with their work, you will know that there
is far more to their art.
Because their works
disrupt large buildings or vast landscapes, the artists insist
that the viewer perceive the environment differently. Christo
calls these disruptions to our surroundings as "gentle disturbances."
The resulting effect has been described as magical. By wrapping
or surrounding, the artists have now re-created an environment
that at times even surprises the artists themselves.
As noted by Charles
Taylor in the DVD set's brochure, the Christos' take art out of
the museum and make it accessible to the public. "The most profoundly
moving moments in these films are the sight of people discovering
a capacity to respond to beauty that they may have never suspected
they had in them. A diner waitress looks at the skeleton of the
Running Fence and marvels that it allows her to see the contours
of the land."
5 Film About Christo
and Jeanne-Claude is a collection of documentaries by Albert
Maysles that chronicle five of their projects: "Christo's Valley
Curtain," "Running Fence," "Islands," "Christo in Paris," and
Visit Amazon to purchase
5 Films About Christo and Jeanne-Claude