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The Floating Piers and Work in Progress


Thursday, October 5, 2017
5:10 pm


In-person Event

Michigan Theater
603 E Liberty St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104


Penny Stamps Speaker Series
Watch Video
Open to the public
Free of charge

Christo is a sculp­tor known for co-cre­at­ing large scale ephemeral works world­wide with his long­time artis­tic part­ner and wife, Jeanne-Claude (19352009). Over the span of his 60-year career, Christo and Jeanne-Claude have cre­ated many pub­lic works involv­ing the exte­rior wrap­ping of build­ings, muse­ums, and pub­lic spaces in can­vas, tarp, and other mate­ri­als. Oil bar­rels have also fea­tured promi­nently in the couple’s work, selected for their sculp­tural effect and low cost.” Their most recent U.S. project, The Gates (com­pleted in 2005), fea­tured 7,503 rec­tan­gu­lar arches draped in saf­fron fab­ric across New York City’s Cen­tral Park. While many spec­u­late on the spe­cific mean­ing of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s work, through­out their career, the artists have shunned the idea that their cre­ative work seeks to con­vey deeper mean­ings, insist­ing that they cre­ate work to evoke a purely vis­ceral emo­tional response using visual aes­thetic. How­ever, Christo speaks of the pub­lic loca­tions of their instal­la­tions in decid­edly demo­c­ra­tic terms. Nobody can buy our projects. Nobody can sell tick­ets to expe­ri­ence our projects. Free­dom is the enemy of pos­ses­sion and pos­ses­sion is equal to per­ma­nence. That is why our projects can­not remain and must go away for­ever. Our projects are once in a life­time’ and once upon a time.’”

This pro­gram is pre­sented in part­ner­ship with the Uni­ver­sity of Michi­gan Museum of Art on the occa­sion of the UMMA exhi­bi­tion Vic­tors for Art: Michigan’s Alumni Col­lec­tors — Part II: Abstrac­tion, with addi­tional sup­port from the Weiser Cen­ter for Emerg­ing Democ­ra­cies.