Today the Department of the Interior announced that the BLM has approved the temporary 50 million dollar art project called “Over the River”. The project is set to cover eight areas of the Arkansas River totaling 5.9 miles with the segments spread out over 42 miles and will be in place for two weeks in August 2014. The first question that popped in my mind after what the ????, was, who could have possibly thought of something like this? The answer I found was Cristo and his late wife Jeane Claude. The couple is wildly famous and are well known throughout the art world. Check this link out to see more of their work.
I am not trying to discredit or cast a negative hue over the life work of Cristo, but I do have some questions about his intentions.
What makes you think covering a perfectly good river with fabric is art? Granted art is in the eye of the beholder but I think that pushing it on all of us and covering up the natural beauty of the area is much more of a detraction than a positive thing.
What are you going to do with all that fabric once it has been displayed for 2 weeks?
Are you absolutely positive that your project will in no way harm/affect wildlife? (if anyone says yes, they are lying)
I know the 50 million dollars comes from profits off of your other projects but given the state of the world, is putting this money towards this type of limited display the best use of the cash? Yes it is his money but perhaps funding art programs would have a longer lasting impact.
I would expect our political leaders to ask some of these some questions. Instead Colorado’s very own Ken Salazar said:
“After careful consideration of the potential impact to the Arkansas River and the wildlife and plants that inhabit this beautiful area, we believe that steps have been taken to mitigate the environmental effects of this one-of-a-kind project. Drawing visitors to Colorado to see this work will support jobs in the tourism industry and bring attention to the tremendous outdoor recreation opportunities in this area.”
Our Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper said:
“We applaud Christo and his late wife, Jeanne-Claude, for their perseverance to create this wonderful artwork in the Arkansas River Valley. Over The River will bring tremendous cultural and economic benefits to Colorado and Coloradans and valuable exposure to our state’s natural beauty.”
Salazar and Hickenlooper should know that we do not need gaudy art projects to draw attention to Colorado’s natural beauty. You could take that 50 million dollars and spend it all on wildlife preservation, education, UpaDowna swag, beer, or pretty much anything besides this project. I could rant for days what I think about this project but I want to know what everyone has to say. I recommend researching the subject on your own and coming to your own conclusions.
UPDATE: According to the Huffington Post a judge has delayed the projec until a lawsuit filed against the BLM can be heard. 9/15/2012