More on Christo’s Running Fence Celebration – Washington, D.C.

Image of Christo at the exhibit opening

Christo at the exhibit opening

On Friday night the Smithsonian American Art Museum screened the documentary film Running Fence Revisitedby Wolfram Hissen. Wolfram filmed the reunion party in Bloomfield, Sonoma County, in September 2009. His 45-minute film contains interviews with ranchers and their families from the 1970s and 2009.

The film is interesting in its lack of a soundtrack. The silence is powerful as the viewer sees the magnificent Sonoma County landscape in 1976 and also in the present day. The only sounds from the film are the wind across the hills, the Running Fence panels moving in the wind, and the sounds of a car or a motorized vehicle.

Photographs from 1976 shows a young Christo and Jeanne-Claude interacting with the ranchers, the Fence, and the landscape. There is a wonderful addition of a home movie from the time. Its grainy quality coupled with images of the roads and cars bring back mesmories of my own visits to The Running Fence by bike, car, and in a small plane. This film, dedicated to Jeanne Claude, adds to the poignancy Christo speaks of: it reminds us to live fully.

—Jean Schulz

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