Things have been going by so fast I feel like I am missing things. One of the things I missed was the death of Jeanne-Claude,
long-term partner and collaborator of Christo. Their Over the River work here in Colorado is proceeding without her, but it is still something of a shock that I missed this news.
I don't know when it was that I started liking their work. Something of the scope and enthusiasm really caught my attention. They are a familiar presence of open-access television here in Squaresville, as the Squaresville Museum (which is mostly historical, but occasionally dabbles on art) did an exhibit on them and they were gracious enough to show up and talk about their work.
What I like about their large-format pieces is not just the rippling fabric itself, but a sense that the enormous bureaucracy that must be appeased to make it happen: permits, bulldozers, environmental impact studies, safety concerns, are all a part of the work today. We spend so much of our lives doing meaningless paperwork it's wonderful to see it amount to something both beautiful and entirely unnecessary. I like to think of their work as being like what a lion tamer does, except they seek to tame the permits and the paper.
Even more fascinating: their work---inviting controversy as it does---is entirely self-funded. So no one who disdains it can say they wasted tax dollars, except in the exchange of time spent in process, it costs tax-payers nothing at all. And that exchange is something so rarely commodified, yet costing us such an enormous amount of time. I like to think their work draws attention to that aspect, too: our interconnectedness even when it doesn't function on friendly, or economic terms.