EXHIBITION CHRISTO & JEANNE-CLAUDE AT DESIGN SIGHT TOKYO
By Crash redaction
Emotions ran high in September 2021 when, for 16 days, the Arc de Triomphe on Place Charles De Gaulle was wrapped in 25,000 square meters of recyclable silver-blue polypropylene fabric and 3,000 meters of red rope. The project, « L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped, Paris, 1961-2021 », had finally seen the light of day. It was a dream imagined in Paris in 1961, where Christo and Jeanne-Claude first met and where they began their creative work as contemporary artists.
The 21_21 Design Sight in Tokyo presents an exhibition on the genesis of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s work entitled « Christo and Jeanne-Claude ‘L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped’ » from June 13, 2022 through February 12, 2023. This exhibition focuses on the context and journey leading to the completion of the project « L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped ». It traces the lives of Christo and Jeanne-Claude through their most important works, revealing the foundations of their unique vision.
Christo and Jeanne-Claude were born on the same day, June 13, 1935, he in Bulgaria, she in Morocco. Fate led them both to Paris, where they met in the fall of 1958. There they began a creative collaboration that would last their entire lives. After moving to New York in 1964, they embarked on numerous projects around the world. After Jeanne-Claude’s death in 2009, Christo continued to work under both of their names, completing some of the projects they had imagined together. « The Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped » was one of them. Supposed to be completed in 2020, the project was postponed to the following year due to the pandemic. Christo passed away in May 2020 without being able to witness the completion of their project. However, due to the dedication of his team, the project was finally completed in September 2021, sixty years after it was imagined.
The exhibition is organized in collaboration with the Christo and Jeanne-Claude Foundation, under the direction of Vladimir Yavachev. Using the Foundation’s extensive documentary archives, video artist Pascal Roulin, curator of the exhibition, cinematically reconstructs « L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped », offering visitors a new and innovative experience.
Christo and Jeanne-Claude have been able to count on collaborators, rallied to their vision, to realize projects never seen before. With this team, they have moved forward with determination, overcoming obstacles to achieve this long-term adventure. Their optimism drove them to achieve their dreams, an example for all of us when faced with challenges.
Discover the visuals of the exhibition by Masaya Yoshimura below.