Wednesday, February 23, 2005

More from Christo

You describe the actual installation of your projects as the “hardware” part of your work, the preparation being the “software.” The “hardware” part of your work is very ephemeral. How does the relatively brief duration of your work, from the time it is installeduntil it is removed, affect its impact?

It greatly affects the impact because the temporary character of our works, our large scale works, is an aesthetic decision on our part. Throughout the millenniums, for 5000 years, artists of the past have tried to input into their works of art a variety of different qualities. They have used different materials, marble, stone, bronze, wood, paint. They have created abstract images, figurative images, religious images, profane. They have tried to do bigger, smaller, a lot of different qualities. But there is one quality they have never used, and that is the quality of love and tenderness that we human beings have for what does not last. For instance, we have love and tenderness for childhood because we know it will not last. We have love and tenderness for our own life because we know it will not last. That quality of love and tenderness, we wish to donate it, endow our work with it as an additional aesthetic quality. The fact that the work does not remain creates an urgency to see it. For instance, if someone were to tell you, “Oh, look on the right, there is a rainbow.” You will never answer, “I will look at it tomorrow.”

Christo on work of art

What do you want to provoke in people who view your work?

You see, what is it that we do? We want to create works of art of joy and beauty, which we will build because we believe it will be beautiful. The only way to see it is to build it. Like every artist, every true artist, we create them for us.

Every true artist does the same. We create those works for ourselves and our friends, and if the public enjoys it, that is only a bonus but that is not created for the public.

From interview of Christo and Jeanne-Claude