Christo : London Mastaba

Do not be surprised to see an unusual mass float on Serpentine Lake if you go through Hyde Park in London (UK), it's only Christo! The world star of contemporary art has indeed unveiled Monday his latest work, London Mastaba, visible until 23 September 2018.

To accompany the exhibition of the Serpentine Gallery «Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Barrels and the" Mastaba ", 1958-2018», a monumental truncated prism, high of over 20 meters consisting of not less than 7 506 red, blue and purple metal barrels was arranged on the nearby lake! If the London Mastaba refers to the ancient funerary tombs of Egypt and Mesopotamia, its real meaning questions. Ecological claim? Religious object or simple geometric form? The answer of the American artist is both clear and open: "There is no message"he says. It is up to the visitors to make their own opinion and to make the hypotheses that seem more plausible to them.

The barrel, material appreciated by the artist for its low cost and its shape, which he has used in the past in some of his works as the Walls of oil barrels - the iron curtain blocking Visconti Street in Paris (6e) from 1961 to 1962 in protest against the rise of the Berlin Wall built in August 1961. In a completely different context, in Oberhausen (Germany), the all-black enclosure of one of the largest gas tanks in the world was illuminated by a huge and colorful wall composed of 13 000 barrels in 1999. In the case of London Mastabayou have to go back to 1968, the year when this trapezoidal volume was first installed in the atrium of the Institute of Contemporary Art of the University of Pennsylvania, but with "only" 1 240 barrels of oil !

One last piece of advice from Christo if you still wonder: "Walk around, look at it, I can not say anything else".

To learn more, visit the site of Christo and Jeanne-Claude

Photos and Illustrations: 01) Wolfgang Volz
02-07) Wolfgang Volz
08) André Grossmann © 2017 Christo
09) © 2017 Christo

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