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February 21, 2005

Taking "The Gates" Seriously

Fenster Moop writes:

Dear Blowhards,

Much ink, digital and otherwise, has been spilt over the burning issue: how seriously should one take Christo and Jean-Claude's The Gates?

Now, here is someone who seems to take it quite seriously. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.




posted by Fenster at February 21, 2005


Also, of course, "The Crackers":

Posted by: Megan on February 21, 2005 09:25 PM

You see the two guys wearing gates hats?

Posted by: Chris on February 22, 2005 09:07 AM

Did anyone else out there visit the Gates in person? I took a stroll through the other day, and I give it about 25% enthusiasm and a 75% yawn. I thought the color (supposedly saffron) didn't work out -- it's closer to the plastic vests construction workers wear than to anything that says "Tibetan Buddhism." And the shape of the supports is odd -- very indsutrial/functional. As are the bases. So the whole thing -- the park, with all the pathways -- struck me as resembling a highway construction site. Seemed, loud, annoying, congested -- nothing magical about it. (Were the Christos playing with the idea of "highway construction site"? I wonder.) I was there on a dull, overcast day, which affected things, I'm sure. On the plus side, the wind stirred a bit and the sun came out for a few minutes, and the whole thing sparkled a fluttered a bit and became much more entertaining. And there was the absurd fun of its scale, and the fun of wondering about all the trouble that had been gone through, although neither thought raised my spirits terribly high. I wasn't feeling sour about it or anything -- I was hoping for a fun experience, but found it pretty drab. The friend I was with liked it a lot better than I did.

Posted by: Michael on February 22, 2005 11:11 AM

Yeah, I'm with you on the ratio (80/20 rule?) of yawn to interest. I don't know where the idea came from, but for some reason I expected several different colors. The orange, er, saffron was alright. Hadn't thought of the construction site angle, but now that you mention it.

They sure picked the right time of year for it: no leaves on the trees to obstruct the views. For long views, with some elevation changes and open spaces, I'd say the north part of the park was the best.

Perhaps its a male thing, but I really wanted to take apart the base --because they didn't look to sturdy but seemed to be holding up ok.

I walked the whole park Saturday morning, and cut through from the SW to the NE late Sunday afternoon. There was more of a buzz on Sunday. Very crowded. A happening. That's when I saw the two jokers.

But back to the look. It made the park look too busy, if you know what I mean. I imagined what it woulda been like if the gates were actually 100 times their size, filling up the sky instead of clogging up the tree level perspective.

Final complaint: never did get to see one of the tennis-ball on the end of the pole people deploy their equipment --but they were friendly!

Posted by: Chris on February 22, 2005 12:17 PM

Another opinion I've encountered reading related discussion in one of LJ's:
After viewing, I ivented "Christo stopped by" cocktail (vodka, orange juice, white tea and triple sec). Cute, not acute.

Now I'm sufficiently tickled to check it out myself; may be even from Metropolitan roof garden on Saturday, to combine pleasurable with useful.

Posted by: Tatyana on February 22, 2005 04:10 PM

Went last Saturday. Gorgeous, freezing, blinding sunlight of a day. Wind was 10-15 mph, so there was sufficient movement without lip chapping cold. There were a lot of folks and yet no pushing or rushing. Folks were smiling and laughing, perhaps with joy or ridicule, but it didn't matter. While certain parts of the park did not benefit from the Gates, wherever the topography dipped and dove, I thought the Gates looked spectacular. Our group stayed away from the "ART" discussion. We chatted about the fun factor and the landscaping effect. Never made it to the roof of the Metropolitan; lines were too long. I regret not having waited; the view form above must be interesting.
As an event, I thought the Gates was a total success. Personally, I'll never look at Central Park the same way, even when the Gates are long gone.

Posted by: DarkoV on February 22, 2005 04:25 PM

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