Friday, February 25, 2005

The Gates

People keep asking what I think of The Gates, Christo's installation of 7500 saffron (don't call them orange!) flags in Central Park. I like 'em. They might not be great art, but they are a great public work -- getting millions of people to stroll through the park on a cold sunny winter day, creating a micro-economy of vendors and tourism.
I also like The Gates because they are a rare example of the sort of 'experiential' art that we don't see much in the West. I really enoyed some of the buddhist and hindu monuments in Southeast Asia, such as Angkor Wat and Borobudur. Those monuments are not iconic in the way that the Eiffel Tower or Statue of LIberty are, in fact you can't take a decent picture of them to save your life. Rather, they unfold around you as you walk through them, sort of revealing themselves slowly as you explore them. The Gates are a perfect example of this, offering us a breath of fresh air in more ways than one.


Post a Comment

<< Home