Big Air Package


18 years after wrapping the Reichstag and 14 years following the ‘Wall’ installation, Christo is back in Germany with a new art project. This time the artist filled out the Obergausen Gasometer with air!

The ‘Big Air Package’  is the latest project by the artiste Christo, installed in the German Gasometer – one of the largest gas tanks turned into a gallery in 1990. The installation was first conceived in 2010 and was the first project the artist realized without Jeanne-Claude, his late spouse and artistic partner.

The sculpture almost fills out the entire interior of the former gas tank leaving only a small aisle along the margins so that visitors can walk around the sculpture. Two fans create a constant pressure of air that keeps the sculpture upright. Diffusive light on the inside of the ‘package’ is obtained by lighting from skylights and 60 additional spotlights. The unique space is experienced inside the monumental part, in an atmosphere of silence and quiet. Christo describes the experience of being in the sculpture as ‘swimming in light’.

This work is the largest detached sculpture in a closed space. It’s made of 20.350 square meters of half-translucent polyester and 4500 meters of rope. The inflated coating is over 90 meters high and 50 meters wide. It weighs 5.3 tons and has a total of 177 000 cubic meters in bulk.

Christo and Jeanne Claude have explored the aerial theme in their sculptures on numerous occasions. They realized their first ‘air’ sculpture in 1966 in the Dutch town of Eindhoven. The last work from this set was set up at the Documents IV in Kassel in 1968.

The exhibition is on view until December 30th.