Christo is an artist whose temporary environmental monuments have consistently involved the real world outside museums and gallerys. His “projects” are enormous. He has wrapped sections of the Sydney, Australia coast in acre-sized tarpaulins; he has done the same with a bank in Berne.

His most complex American project {before “Running Fence”) was realized in Rifle Gap, Colorado in 1971 where Christo and an army of workers suspended a huge orange translucent curtain, 1300 feet wide and 350 feel high, across a canyon where it hung for a few hours until a windstorm tore it down.

Though a finished structure is the aesthetic completion of Christo’s idea, it is only the tip of the iceberg. For Christo, the organization of the project, the documentation involved, the human and bureaucratic encounters necessary to produce the final structure are a major part of the work. His confrontation with social and environmental forces is deliberate. His deepest interests lie in dealing with them, just as a politician appreciates the process of a political campaign, “Valley Curtain” of Rifle Gap rook two years of intensive planning and engineering—with much of Christo’s delight derived from watching the community’s attitude evolve from scepticism to enthusiasm and finally support as the project grew.




On a grander scale, he is going through a similar progression with his newest project: the Running Fence, 18 feet high, will emerge from the ocean and follow an undulating path inland across 24 miles of private properties in Marin and Sonoma Counties. California which is an area of far more complex socio political-economic pressures than in the tan yon of Rifle Gap. The idea of the fence has produced a palaver of responses from the community. While all 59 landowners have now given permission for Running Fence to cross their land, the controversy continues at public hearings and within the larger economic and art communities around San Francisco.

What follows is a portion of a “Fact-Sheet” given to the Board of Supervisors, and excerpts from the public testimony at a hearing called to discuss Chtisto’s project. If all goes well, Running Fence will exist for two weeks in September, 1975.