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February 10, 2005

Central Park Becomes a Gated Community

Two more days until the Gates are unfurled in Central Park! For months now I've been talking the ears off of anyone who will listen about how fabulous this is going to be. Here's some of what I've said (cobbled together from various e-mails and expanded):

Things I love love love about the Gates project:

The first thing I love isn't really an intrinsic part of the project. But I am moved by the idea that Christo and Jeanne-Claude have wanted to do this for over 25 years, and now it's going to happen. Perseverance in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles isn't something that comes naturally to me, so having such a brilliant example for a new role model is extremely cool.

I love how the Gates contrast ephemerality and tangibility -- they're only going to be up for sixteen days, but the amount of infrastructure and planning and construction that's gone into them is tremendous.

Hundreds (thousands? It must be thousands) of people have been working for a couple of *years* to produce all of the components of the installation. I love the image of foundry workers going in to work every day and smelting and casting molten metal into shape -- not to be part of a bridge, or a building, or an automobile, but to be part of an enormous art project. I love the corresponding image of all the seamstresses going in day after day to transform huge bolts of fabric into the panels that will hang from the Gates themselves.

I love that this is going up in February -- we'll all end up tromping around in the cold and the wind and perhaps even the snow, to see these beautiful, sunny, flapping panels all around us.

The most important thing to me, finally, is that when I was able to really get a sense of what the Gates might look like in the park, it made me gasp. It's going to be astoundingly beautiful. Trails of orange winding through the bare trees will look like surreal river beds seen from above (I can't wait to go up on the roof of the Met!). The huge panels of fabric, billowing and flapping in the wind, will sound like hundreds of bedsheets being snapped at once. My favorite thoughts are about the visual contrast of the saffron orange curtains against the sky, which is flat gray on some February days, and that piercing, intense, complete-lack-of-humidity blue on others -- those images make me surpassingly happy.

Here are some links to pages I've been enjoying this week, before the Gates themselves are ready.

The New York Times has a page of all their coverage here.

A couple of days ago Gothamist collected a bunch of their own links on the project.

Joe Schumacher's blog has some fabulous photographs of the work that's been going on all week. Here are his entries for February 7th and February 8th.

Here's a crazy awesome anyone-can-post blog, The Gates @ Central Park.

PS -- Apologies for the long post with too many words and not enough pictures -- but I'll have my own photos of this up soon! A passel of us are going to see the Gates unfurl at the all-too-early hour of 8am on Saturday. I'm trying to decide that being out and about at an unaccustomed hour will just be part of my art experience.

Posted by Rose at February 10, 2005 03:37 PM


hey, i'm gonna be in NY next week... i fly in thursday, so i'm gonna miss the baby knitting session (darnit!) but i do plan to make a pilgrimage to Yarnivore. and, thanks to your blog entry, The Gates! fork heard me talking about your store and sighed about how expensive it was going to be. well, i do have an upper limit: how much i can stuff into my luggage! can't wait to see ya...

Posted by: gotcha at February 12, 2005 12:34 PM