Helen Palmer (nice_cup_of_tea) wrote,
Helen Palmer
nice_cup_of_tea

The Gates Documentary Exhibition, Zürich


Gates Mosaic, originally uploaded by nice_cup_of_tea.

THE GATES, CENTRAL PARK, NEW YORK CITY, 1979-2005, A Documentation Exhibition, and OVER THE RIVER, PROJECT FOR THE ARKANSAS RIVER, STATE OF COLORADO, A Work In Progress" in Zurich from March 18 to April 2

This documentary exhibition was sponsored by Credit Suisse to celebrate the bank's 150 year anniversary. The tickets were free, but booked out very quickly, so Al and I were lucky to get to the exhibition last night from 8.30 to 10pm. I had gone to the lecture by Christo and Jeanne-Claude earlier this month (see post) and was really looking forward to this exhibition!

The exhibition displayed documentary evidence for the Gates project and the forthcoming "Over the River" project. The majority of the exhibits were the sketches, plans, photos for the projects. The main part of the museum pavilion was a huge hall with photos displayed round the edges and models in the middle. The photos were extroadinary, large, beautiful and orange. Some showed the gates from ground level and the interaction of the public - touching them, running a marathon through them, schoolchildren. Some photos showed the construction workers erecting them or maintaining the gates. Amazingly, it seems as though the gates were pretty much erected by hand! There were photos of New Yorkers just getting on with life in the park, even given the flags. I wonder if the natives got blase about the gates?

The photos I really loved were the ariel ones. These showed the organic, rounded shapes of the gates from the air, fitting into the Central Park context. There was one photo with a deep, heavy, dark grey sky, the sky just before it pour with rain or storm. And the orange was just luminous against this backdrop!

The models of the park were fun, plus there was an actual frame of a gate laid down, as well as the roll of orange material. The exhibition workers were handing out small squares of the material, which was surprisingly tough nylon. My square is now pinned on my noticeboard to inspire me. It's clear that the artists' love their art and that they possess incredible amounts of energy, passion and perseverence - good qualities to be reminded of on a daily basis.


I managed to take a few sneaky photos (I'm sure it was prohibited, but we didn't see any signs..) although I nearly got caught by a security guard when my flash went off. My friend and I tried not to look guilty or giggle and were deep in conversation as the guy came to investigate the source of the flash. Sorry Al!

I was surprised that the exhibition was quite small. And i'm glad I went to the lecture as it gave me a much clearer idea of the artists' ideas than the exhibition did. Plus I really wanted to see a full scale gate, standing up!

My Photos

Credit Suisse Photos of exhibition by Michael Schmid

Credit Suisse Emagazine article on exhibition plus slide show

Credit Suisse's support for Christo and Jeanne-Claude

The Experts behind Christo and Jeanne-Claude

Press Photo Downloads

Tags: the arts, zürich
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