Ca' Foscari University of Venice was happy to welcome famous American Bulgarian born artist whose recent large installation at the Iseo Lake in Italy, “The Floating Piers”, was widely discussed, on Thursday October 19th at the Auditorium S. Margherita.
Christo & Jeanne-Claude
Works in progress
Held by the artist Christo
Flavio Gregori, Provost for the University Cultural Activities and Relations at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice
Auditorium Santa Margherita
Thursday October 19th 2017, 5pm
The presentation was held in English with an Italian translation.
The event was organized in collaboration with the Sustainability Archives.
Christo was born in Bulgaria in 1935 where he attended the National Academy of Art. In 1956 he left Bulgaria for Prague and then went to Austria, Switzerland and France where he created his first project with Jeanne-Claude, his partner in life and art until 2009 the year of her death. The two artists created many pieces that got the whole world talking beyond people working in culture and art, as the artworks encourage direct participation of million of persons. As New York residents since 1964 they became American citizen. Throughout the years they had to fight to get the required permits to achieve their projects always appearing as “visionaries” with astonishing and fascinating artworks to those who had the opportunity to be direct participants and fundamental features of their creations.
Christo and Jeanne-Claude never limited themselves for the dimensions of their projects. Their interest in interpreting, re-imagining and modifying the perception of landscapes and architectures, wrapping buildings with dozens of kilometer long cloths such as the main and longest bridge in Paris, spreading thousands of umbrellas in California and Japan, wrapping eleven islands with pink woven polypropylene fabric in Miami bay, an entire coastline in Australia and even the Reichstag in Berlin.
They were allowed to use the entire Central Park in New York and used nylon fabric panels, anchored to 15,006 steel bases on 23 miles of walkways. In 2016 on the Iseo Lake more than 1,400,000 people walked on 100,000 square metres of a 6 km long shimmering yellow fabric on a modular floating dock system. Nobody ever had to pay to see or access any of their projects.
All the required expenditure to the implementation of their projects have always been entirely supported by the artists without sponsors enabling a complete freedom of expression. All the projects had a duration of just two weeks, after which the materials are recycled, leaving the space and artefacts the way they received them.
In Italy they were active in 1968 in Spoleto for the Festival dei Due Mondi wrapping two monumental buildings. In 1971 in Milan they wrapped entirely a monument dedicated to Vittorio Emanuele in Piazza Duomo and to Leonardo in front of the Scala opera house.
In 1974 they intervened on 300 meters of the ancient Aurelian Walls. In 1998 they cover the monumental stairs and the historical rooms of Palazzo Bricherasio in Turin.
Currently Christo is committed to obtaining the authorization to create the “Mastaba”, a sculpture gathering thousands of oil barrels in the Abu Dhabi desert.