Wednesday, February 09, 2005

early installation preparations

Written Jan. 21, 2005-just found this site today.

We have been watching from our window with some interest the installation of the supports for the gates and what I now find are orange place markers, marching up the stairs at Strangers Gate like implacable orange samurai.

Last week on that marvelously warm foggy night we ducked into the Park across from the Dakota, taking the long way home.

I note with approval the absence of supports (at least at that time) in Strawberry Fields. It is wrapped in its own saffron veils, though I think John would have loved it.

We considered (my husband went to MIT, after all) the composition and weight of the palettes, and the need for a design that would make them easy to stack and place, yet worthless as bookshelves. And, as the snow outside falls, the matte gray tops of the palettes takes the snow as smoothly as the matte gray boulders along the walkway that sweeps down from the Great Hill.

The orange cones now clearly have nothing to do with the odious traffic cones that at first glanced they resemble. No, these are small Eiffelian lattice-works, tiny towers dressed for hunting season.

They are, indeed, orange. But something has to hold things up and it can't collect either wind or moisture and people must under no circumstances either fall on them or steal them.

We can't imagine how they'll keep the gates from blowing away or becoming torn (and if they have so much sturdy fabric, don't people need sarongs?) but then that thought of saving tsunami victims gave way to mental projections of the sensation of being enrobed in this project when it is completed.

We walked up the path next to the lake and imagined the gates installed about us, billowing sails of gold, and I almost hummed with the prospect of such joy.

Cristo and Jeanne-Claude have wrapped other places. This time, it seems, they are wrapping the people of New York City as they walk these paths. I, for one, can't wait!

Parsons McComb


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