christo and jeanne-claude's l'arc de triomphe, wrapped installation in paris comes to an end

christo and jeanne-claude's l'arc de triomphe, wrapped installation in paris comes to an end

CHRISTO AND JEANNE-CLAUDE’S L’ARC DE TRIOMPHE, WRAPPED IS BEING UNWRAPPED

 

christo and jeanne-claude’s l’arc de triomphe, wrapped is currently being unwrapped. the ephemeral art installation which was on view from september 18 until october 3, 2021, (see our coverage here) graced the french capital with spectators from all over the world being able to enjoy it. 

 

to celebrate the end of christo and jeanne-claude’s first posthumous installation, we are sharing a series of photographs by french architect and photographer aurélien chen who captured the installation without focusing on its monumentality but rather on its presence on the urbanscape. little retouching and rainy days portray the public art installation in its rawest form, without diminishing its beauty.

christo's l'arc de triomphe, wrapped installation in paris comes to an end
l’arc de triomphe, wrapped. © christo and jeanne-claude
all images by aurelien chen

 

TO CELEBRATE ITS END, WE SHARE A SERIES OF PHOTOGRAPHS BY AURÉLIEN CHEN

 

‘the original building was built on a hill, as a monument to glory, as a gate to paris,’ chen told designboom. ‘few years later, surroundings streets were created to offer multiple urban perspectives on this monument, which became a true urban landmark. time passing by, the monument became the background of paris postcards, a background in our daily life. as monumental as it might be, it slightly disappeared. by wrapping the monument, the artists reveal back its presence in the cityscape of paris, reminding its original purpose. it reveals the urbanism of the city, with urban axis that converge on one monument.’

christo's l'arc de triomphe, wrapped installation in paris comes to an end
the photographer captured the public art installation in all its rawness

 

‘that is why I chose, on purpose, not to photograph this work of art as a “building”; these photographs do not focus on the “architectural object” — it remains in the background.’ chen continued. ‘this series is more about urban / street photography than pure architecture photography. I wanted to express the presence of this work of art in the cityscape, in parisians daily life.’

christo and jeanne-claude's l'arc de triomphe, wrapped installation in paris comes to an end
the monument was wrapped with recycled fabric for two whole weeks

 

‘that is also why these photographs were very slightly edited. I wanted them to be “raw”, expressing the reality of this work of art in the city. for the same reason, the foreground is often messy, with elements that we would normally be hidden or avoided in architectural photography: trash bins, vehicles, construction sites, etc. but these elements compose typical parisians daily life surroundings: a local “taxi”, some pigeons in front of an empty café under the rain, etc.’

christo and jeanne-claude's l'arc de triomphe, wrapped installation in paris comes to an end
typical grey parisian skyes serve as a backdrop

 

‘for the same reason, I chose to photograph on a rainy day: paris’ sky is often grey, and so are its roofs,’ aurélien chen concluded. ‘I believe the artists have imagined this unique moment when the work of art would become one unique element with the white/grey sky of paris.’

 

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