exploring ‘l’arc de triomphe, wrapped’ from birth to fruition
Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s ‘L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped’ exhibition is now on view at 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT in Tokyo. Running from 13 June 2022 to 12 February 2023, the display traces Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s life through their milestone projects, including their lifelong dream from its birth to its fruition. A historical retrospective of sixty years offers visitors an entirely new and innovative experience.
The Arc de Triomphe in the Place Charles de Gaulle was wrapped entirely with 25,000 sqm of recyclable polypropylene fabric in silvery blue and 3,000m of red rope. (see more in our previous article here). Thanks to a supportive team of engineers, officials, contractors, and manufacturers, the project came into reality, covering the iconic monument at the center of the busiest roundabout in Paris. The exhibition holds a rich archive consisting of a large-scale installation depicting the materiality, video footage, architectural models, and a series of visual representations.
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‘This exhibition is about a Parisian story’
Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s’ L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped ‘exhibition explains the 60-year journey from the artists’ first encounter in Paris, with their long-term project coming finally to life. The collection is organized in collaboration with the Christo and Jeanne-Claude Foundation, led by Vladimir Yavachev.
The artist duo was born on the same day and year, on June 13, 1935. He in Bulgaria and she in Morocco. At the age of 23, they first met in Paris and began a creative collaboration that would last a lifetime. Together, they realized numerous large-scale projects worldwide. After Jeanne-Claude’s death in 2009, Christo continued to work on behalf of both, bringing to life some of the projects they had envisioned in the past. ‘L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped’ was the last one. Christo died in May 2020 without witnessing the finalization of the project. However, thanks to the commitment of his team, the artists’ vision came true in September 2021.
image © designboom
an insight into the exhibition at 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT
Wandering the basement lobby at SIGHT DESIGN 21_21, guests can catch a video of Christo drawing ‘L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped’ in his New York studio. The first gallery demonstrates a meticulous-designed architectural model of the Arc de Triomphe, accompanied by footage explaining the construction process. Another part of the exhibition hosts an installation representing parts of the ‘L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped’.
Viewers can touch the material and experience the careful placement of the fabric so as not to harm the historical monument. From the first sketches through challenges and difficulties to the final realization, the visitors absorb the huge power of creativity and passion.
image © designboom