"Any art less politically and socially conscious [than mine] is not contemporary art. My art embodies the essence of contemporary art," Janacheff Cristo told the crowd of approximately 500 that jammed the basement of the Carpenter Center last night to hear the famed Bulgarian artist.
Cristo said his most recent project, the 24-mile "Running Fence" constructed in San Marin County, Calif., involved a primitive, collective attitude consistent with his Marxist philosophy. The money raised to finance the project was collected from the sale of his own paintings, drawings, and other pieces of art, he said.
When asked if he found it hard to reconcile locating his massive project in the United States he replied that if his art required him to use the capitalist system he would and if it required him to go to China he would do that as well.
The Bulgarian artist said his latest project, located in West Germany, has already caused more controversy than the "Running Fence" in California. Instead of encountering farmers and ranchers and belligerant bulls. Cristo says he must now contend with not only the West German Government but also with the East German Government, the Soviet Union and the U.S.
Although the projects create irrational behavior on the part of all the people working on the projects, the participants all come to like it in the same way they come to like fishing, he said.