The Gates

Posted on February 21, 2005 by knittingpatterns4you | 3 Comments

[image removed]
Since this post has nothing to do with knitting, click below to read about my trip to see this work of art.

Adam and I went to see The Gates today, along with half of the city. It was packed! I've been watching the progress as the gates were put up, and last weekend when they opened I witnessed the crowds around the neighborhood where I work. But compared to this weekend, last weekend was nothing!

It was a great day to see this, as it was pretty windy and the gates were flying. It could have been 5 degrees warmer, but whatever. If you click on the above picture, you will get to an album I made with the pictures I took today, along with some notes of what each picture is trying to show. I'm not the best photographer, but I was hoping to let people far away share some of what I saw today. I know I'm not the only one doing this, but I did it for my own records and decided to share with you, my gentle readers. =)

As for the Gates themselves, I am enjoying the whole experience. I take the M79 crosstown bus everyday, and as such saw the gates going up, and waited for the fabric to be let loose. My first thought when they went up was, "Ugh, what an ugly color! WHY would they choose this color?" To me, this color reminds me of hunting orange (otherwise known as road cone orange). Which got me to thinking: the reason hunters use bright orange is because it doesn't exist in nature, and therefore sticks out like a sore thumb. So maybe the artists' use is meant to further juxtapose the man-made gates with the natural background of the park? Once I reached this question, the color no longer bothered me.

The next thought I had, right after it officially opened, was on the name. "The Gates" isn't really what I would have thought to name it. I had to think about it for a while. Traditionally, a gate is something you pass to get somewhere; it divides the inside from the outside, locks you out or keeps you in. Passing a gate can be a milestone, can be the beginning or end of a journey. So what's the significance of lining them up one after another? After posing this question to a friend, she said that she saw it as a metaphor for life: each person's life is filled with milestones or changes, and each time you pass through a stage of your life there is another waiting, and another. She sees in the gates something about life and rebirth. I can't say that I also see that, but it did make me think.

The other day when I looked up really quickly from the M79, I thought to myself, "Huh, looks like an Indian wedding." Anyone ever see Monsoon Wedding?

I read a review that said that when viewed from above while the wind is blowing, the gates look like a river flowing through the park. Today, the park looked like it had a river of people flowing through it. Walking through art gives it a whole new dimension, as the spectator becomes a part of the exhibit. As I watched people of all ages and origins walk through today, I thought that it doesn't matter what they mean, they are bringing people to New York and to the park.

I went on a search online to try to find out what others think it means, and no one seems to know. What I do know for sure is that the neighborhoods around the park have never had so much foot traffic at once (you can't get into any restaurant for lunch, some restaurants are even running out of food), the traffic down 5th Ave on Saturday night was worse than at Christmastime, and I have never seen so many people lined up to get into the Met at 10am on a Saturday morning.

To Christo and Jeanne Claude: Thank you.

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3 Responses


February 21, 2005

I went to see the Gates on Sunday too. My friends and I talked about several of the same things you have written about, yet you are able to put them into much nicer word form :) They are something different, that’s for sure!


February 21, 2005

Thanks for sharing your pictures and thoughts about The Gates. Living far away, there’s no way I can see them in person and, to be honest, they’ve gotten very little media coverage here. If I were in New York, I’d go see them too.


March 04, 2005

I’m sooooo jealous. I wish I had gotton down there to see them. What a majestic happening.

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