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Over the River:

Comprehensive federal environmental review now complete

Christo and Jeanne-Claude - press release of November 7, 2011

DENVER – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) today issued the Record of Decision (ROD) on Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s proposed temporary work of art, Over The River, following the earlier issuance of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in July.  The ROD gives final approval to the artists’ original vision to suspend 5.9 miles of fabric panels in eight separate areas along a 42-mile stretch of the Arkansas River in southern Colorado.  It also identifies over 100 measures to mitigate impacts identified in the EIS, including traffic, safety, wildlife and others.  The ROD is the final step in the comprehensive environmental review process that the BLM began in February of 2009. 

“This is the most significant milestone yet in completing Over The River,” said Christo, “and we can now get to work applying for the few remaining permits that we still need.  We are much closer to finally realizing this work of art that Jeanne-Claude and I first envisioned many years ago.  Although our team is still reviewing the ROD, I am confident that we can now move forward so we begin construction in the summer of 2012.”

Approvals have already been obtained from the Colorado State Parks Board and the Colorado State Land Board.  Permits are still needed from Fremont and Chaffee Counties, the Colorado Department of Transportation and the Colorado State Patrol. 

The temporary work of art will be dis played between Salida and Cañon City in southern Colorado for two consecutive weeks in August of 2014 at the earliest. 

 Over The River  

Over The RiverOver The River http://www.overtheriverinfo.com/. for two consecu tive weeks in August, 2014, at the earliest. For more information, visit our website at is a temporary work of art by the artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Christo plans to suspend 5.9 miles of silvery, luminous fabric panels high above the Arkansas River along a 42-mile stretch of the river between Salida and Cañon City in southern Colorado. Assuming the permitting process moves forward as planned, Christo hopes to exhibit


Identity, gender and
the performative in
Christo & Jeanne-Claude's work

The entire study is available as e-book at www.grin.com.

Dr. Joachim Stark MA, Nuremberg, Germany

Jeanne-Claude's death on November 18, 2009 has induced me to get back to this project work on Christo and Jeanne-Claude, which I completed in 2006 at the Open University, UK. By publishing this short study I want to contribute to the memory of an important woman, without whom many of Christo's amazing works perhaps never would have been realized. Christo is one of the most important artists of the second half of the 20th century. His wife Jeanne-Claude has been an integral part of the creative and technical process which gave live to Pont Neuf Wrapped, Wrapped Reichstag, and the Gates, New York, just to name a few major works.

1. Introduction e

The following considerations try to point out that Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s work deals with concepts of identity, gender and the performative, ideas which inform a great deal of the art that has been produced since the 1960s. These aspects in the work of the two artists have generally been overlooked due perhaps to the giganticism of many of their projects realized since the end of the 1960s, like “Wrapped Coast” (1968/69, Australia), “Valley Curtain” (1970/72 USA), “Surrounded Islands” (1980-83 USA), “Pont Neuf Wrapped” (1975/85, France), “Wrapped Reichstag” (1971-1995 Germany), or “The Gates” (2005 USA). If one tried to give an overview of the different interpretations which have been suggested so far with respect to Christo’s work in chronological order, one would encounter the French movement of Nouveau Réalisme, whose new realism, according to Pierre Restany, art critic and intellectual leader of the group, consisted of the presentation of corporeal reality in actual objects, rather than representations of them on canvas or in bronze (Bourdon 21). Although Christo has exhibited with the group, he never really was a Nouveau Réaliste, as he concealed the reality of objects and manipulated their function and identity.

This project essay can only represent a first tentative approach towards understanding the work of Christo and Jeanne-Claude; an in-depth theoretical analysis of the implications of Christo’s art seems to be still at its beginning. There are huge amounts of publications about Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s oeuvre, mainly exhibition catalogues, but also project documentations by the artists themselves. For the time being it remains a task for future research to identify those theoretical contributions, which identify and elucidate the inspiration and intentions of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s art. In the following presentation some elements are selected, which could serve as a point of departure for further discussion.