Tag Archives: Christo and Jeanne Claude

Project 3: Research ~ Christo and Jeanne-Claude

Surrounded Islands Project:

Christo and Jeanne-Calude; Surrounded Islands, Biscayne Bay, Greater Miami, Florida 1980-83. Photo: Wolfgang Volz.

Christo and Jeanne-Claude; Surrounded Islands, Biscayne Bay, Greater Miami, Florida 1980-83. Photo: Wolfgang Volz.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I agree in part with the analysis of surrounded islands as ‘textiles used on an extremely large scale to both define and cover aspects of the natural environment, in this case two islands’. It’s hard to disagree with the scale, but I’m not 100% sure I can see what the aim of this was. To me the bright pink colour is a clash with the natural landscape, this clash brings attention to the natural form of the islands, the shapes of the fabric around the islands also serve to make clear the natural form of the islands. The fabric also acts as a cover over the waters around the island and makes access to them harder. Perhaps an unintentional benefit of the project was the clean up involved on the islands in preparation, apparently some forty tonnes of waste was gathered from across eleven islands in the bay!

It’s interesting to me also to consider why use textiles for this, they clearly state the the surroundings were made from ‘Woven Polypropylene’ a man made fibre, not plastic.

Art or Design

I think this work is an art work or piece rather than a design piece, as it wasn’t created for function or to help achieve a purpose or goal but rather as a project to highlight the islands and make a spectacle of them. According to their website the islands were ‘a work of art underlining the various elements and ways in which the people of Miami live between land and water’.

Temporary or Permanent

This was a temporary piece – the pink fabric surrounded the islands for a duration of two weeks before being removed.

Large Scale or Small Scale

Given that in the photographs the surrounding pink fabric can be seen from the air, I’d say the piece was of a large scale.

Christo and Jeanne-Calude; Surrounded Islands, Biscayne Bay, Greater Miami, Florida 1980-83. Photo: Wolfgang Volz.

Christo and Jeanne-Calude; Surrounded Islands, Biscayne Bay, Greater Miami, Florida 1980-83. Photo: Wolfgang Volz.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Transforming and/or Defining and/or Forming

In our workbook the characteristic highlighted was ‘defining’ – I agree with this but I also think the piece is trans-formative. I think this is because it takes the islands from obscurity, to becoming a focal point or destination (at least for the duration of the piece), which is a trans- formative act.

Immersive and/or Distant

I agree these are distant – they had to travelled to by boat from the bay area, so they weren’t easily reachable or touchable.

Pattern and/or Colour and/or Repetition and/or Shape

Christo and Jeanne-Calude; Surrounded Islands, Biscayne Bay, Greater Miami, Florida 1980-83. Photo: Wolfgang Volz.

Christo and Jeanne-Claude; Surrounded Islands, Biscayne Bay, Greater Miami, Florida 1980-83. Photo: Wolfgang Volz.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colour wasn’t highlighted as a characteristic in our workbooks, which I find odd! The vibrancy of the pink fabric I think it a key part of the piece, if it had been a blue, say in keeping with the water the art works wouldn’t have been nearly so defining or as visible from a distance.

 

Wrapped Trees Project:

Construction view of Christo and Jeanne Claude;Wrapped Trees, Foundation Beyeler and Berower Park, Riehen, Switzerland, 1997-98. Photo: Wolfgang Volz.

Construction view of Christo and Jeanne Claude;Wrapped Trees, Foundation Beyeler and Berower Park, Riehen, Switzerland, 1997-98. Photo: Wolfgang Volz.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Art or Design

Temporary or Permanent

Large Scale or Small Scale

Transforming and/or Defining and/or Forming

Immersive and/or Distant

Pattern and/or Colour and/or Repetition and/or Shape

Considering the work from the point of view of the textile rather than the tree is harder than I imagined. The fabric used looks so fragile and light, in some of the photographs it looks like bin liners (they have an transparency). In the photograph below the quality of the fabric as semi-sheer enables for the forms inside, the lines of the branches to still be visible;

Translucent view of Christo and Jeanne Claude;Wrapped Trees, Foundation Beyeler and Berower Park, Riehen, Switzerland, 1997-98. Photo: Wolfgang Volz.

Translucent view of Christo and Jeanne Claude;Wrapped Trees, Foundation Beyeler and Berower Park, Riehen, Switzerland, 1997-98. Photo: Wolfgang Volz.

The fabric in the photograph left seems to have a ballooning effect, the tree’s become almost cartoon shaped at the edges (at least that’s what I see in it).

The fabric here is confusing – is it there to protect and envelope or to cover and distort? I guess protect, because the fabric used is the same kind used ‘every winter in Japan to protect trees from heavy snow’.

 

 

Sunny view of Christo and Jeanne Claude;Wrapped Trees, Foundation Beyeler and Berower Park, Riehen, Switzerland, 1997-98. Photo: Wolfgang Volz.

Sunny view of Christo and Jeanne Claude;Wrapped Trees, Foundation Beyeler and Berower Park, Riehen, Switzerland, 1997-98. Photo: Wolfgang Volz.

In the sunlight the fabric has a sheen, an almost metallic quality, which makes the forms seem more fantastical or unreal to me. It really reminds me of something you might expect to see in an illustration or children’s cartoon which features trees or forms from another planet. I think that’s partly the metallic quality but also the sections of shape created by the ropes around the fabric.

 

 

Winter view of Christo and Jeanne Claude;Wrapped Trees, Foundation Beyeler and Berower Park, Riehen, Switzerland, 1997-98. Photo: Wolfgang Volz.

Winter view of Christo and Jeanne Claude;Wrapped Trees, Foundation Beyeler and Berower Park, Riehen, Switzerland, 1997-98. Photo: Wolfgang Volz.

In the snow the fabric becomes a platform or base for the wider settling of snow on top of the trees. This again alters the shape or highlights different angles or facets of the wrapped trees.

 

 

Finally here’s a link to a YouTube video from Vernissage TV; Christo and Jeanne-Claude (Interview with Christo), in which he discussed “Wrapped Trees” :