Christo and Jeanne Claude’s “The Umbrellas”
Christo and Jeanne Claude’s “The Umbrellas”
Charles Broskoski
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Christo and Jeanne Claude’s “The Umbrellas: Joint Project for Japan and U.S.A.” was conceptualized in 1984, but not carried out until 1991. Composed of hundreds of six-foot-tall 485-pound umbrellas installed on the coasts of California and Japan, it’s a peaceful work about interconnection. Yet, due to a failure of the joint holding an umbrella in place, Californian Lori Keevil-Matthews was crushed to death against a boulder when the umbrella escaped its socket. After the tragedy, Christo called for the installation to be dismantled, but then during the dismantling process in Japan, worker Masaaki Nakamura was electrocuted when the arm of the crane he was operating struck a high-voltage power line.

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