Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Gates

Last night I had a bad night so I woke up very early, fixed my cup of coffee, turn on the TV and had the most pleasurable surprise as this documentary that I have been wanting to watch –but forgot about- was just starting. Have to say that the best medicine for a bad night is to watch an outstanding and beautiful documentary, surely will change the way you will face your day.

This very uplifting doc in my opinion is about an artist obsession and most important, about perseverance. I had no idea that it took Christo and Jeanne-Claude so many years to finally being able to do the amazing installation The Gates in Central Park at New York City and of course I’m one that’s grateful for their perseverance and for the authorities that finally gave the green light to the project, as was one of the most interesting installations that Christo has ever done in my opinion.

The doc shows how Christo and Jeanne-Claude started in 1979 conversations with NYC authorities and you’ll be able to hear some amazing comments arguing the reason why the installment should NOT be authorized. It wasn’t until Mayor Bloomberg gets to office that the project finally became reality and you have the opportunity to watch the manufacture and installation process. Unfortunately the doc does not include the removal of the installation and for me the natural end of the doc should have been the gates being removed, as makes the ephemeral installation more palpable to viewers.

Besides the amazing story of the project, this doc is a must be seen as is one of the most beautiful visual “Love Letters” to New York City that I have seen with many breathtaking views of sunrises, sunsets, daylight, clear night, foggy night, snow storm, all white Central Park and orange “worms” –like children call them-, etc., etc. Extremely beautiful voyage into one of my favorite cities in the world and one that made recall the first time I was there when I was 7 years-old, the many more times that I have been there and the reason why I know is most unlikely that’ll be going there ever again. So, for now my trips to NYC are through fantastic visuals in many movies and especially with this outstanding documentary.

I know that Christo and Jeanne-Claude installations are controversial, but aside from all the controversies they arouse in people and whatever (positive or negative) you think about their art, this documentary absolutely is a must be seen for the true beauty of the images, including the construction, installation and deployment of the gates.

After watching the doc I realized the crowds that were attracted to promenade the park in the most unusual winter month of the year, February! But wasn’t surprised as I knew at least two, my dear friends that went to NYC from a far away country just to live the experience and they not only brought back an unforgettable experience but also brought back a piece of fabric for me. Yes, I own a piece of orange fabric from The Gates and after today –even when I wasn’t there- I have the feeling that I “lived” the experience as much as my dearest friends did.

Christo and Jeanne-Claude installation are ephemerous as they last a short period of time. For sure the actual installation is, but with documentaries like this one ephemerous art surely lives forever. Bravo!

If you enjoyed the amazing documentary Man On Wire, then for sure The Gates is a must be seen for you.


No comments yet