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Wrapped Trees, collage 1998

Wrapped Trees, photograph 1998
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Wrapped Trees, Fondation Beyeler and Berower Park,
Riehen, Switzerland, 1997-98

Created in 1998, more than three decades after Christo and Jeanne-Claude first proposed wrapping live trees, this project was scheduled for autumn, when leafless branches would enhance the elegiac nature of the work. A shimmering veil-like woven polyester (used in Japan to protect fragile trees from frost and snow) was selected to allow the trees to "breathe." On 13 November, the Christos and their team began the installation, which covered 178 trees (ranging in height from three to eighty-two feet) with 592,034 square feet of polyester secured with over 14 miles of rope. On view for three weeks, Wrapped Trees was extremely dynamic: varying silhouettes of trees moved in the wind with the skeletal framework of branches made visible when the translucent material was backlighted by the sun.

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