Christo and Jeanne-Claude, still for The London Mastaba AR (Hyde Park), 2020. Courtesy of Acute Art
From today, 8 July 2020, visitors to Hyde Park can virtually recreate one of the best loved public artworks of recent years, Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s London Mastaba, on their mobile phones. The launch of The London Mastaba AR (Hyde Park) (2020) brings this iconic sculpture back to the Serpentine via the free Acute Art app.
Christo & Jeanne-Claude, still for The London Mastaba AR (Hyde Park), 2020. Courtesy of Acute Art.
Christo (1935–2020) and Jeanne-Claude (1935–2009) are among the world’s most celebrated artists, known for their ambitious, large-scale works of art that have altered both the physical form and visual appearance of sites for a short period of time, before returning environments to their original states. The London Mastaba AR (Hyde Park) will be an exact virtual replica of the physical sculpture installed in 2018. It is best experienced from the North bank of the lake, opposite the Serpentine lido.
The London Mastaba, Serpentine Lake, Hyde Park, 2016-2018, a temporary sculpture made of colourful stacked barrels, was the artists’ first major public work in the UK. The London Mastaba AR (Hyde Park) will evoke the memory of the sculpture, which floated on the Serpentine lake for just over three months in 2018 and was accompanied by an exhibition of the artists’ work at the Serpentine Galleries, supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies.
©Tim P. Whitby
Planned before Christo’s death in May 2020, this is an opportunity to share the last public work realised in Christo’s lifetime with a global audience and celebrate the memory of his and Jeanne-Claude’s visionary projects.
The translation of the Mastaba into Augmented Reality gives audiences a chance to play at being the artist, placing the sculpture within the landscapes of Kensington Gardens and beyond. The Augmented Reality Mastaba in Kensington Gardens joins Jakob Kudsk Steensen’s The Deep Listener (2019), an ecological trail in Augmented Reality through the Park; both works offer audiences a way to engage differently with their surroundings, whether natural or man-made.
The London Mastaba AR (Hyde Park) (2020) will be an exact virtual replica of the physical sculpture installed in 2018. Accessible via the free Acute Art app, viewers will be able to explore a virtual version of the installation through their mobile phones when they visit The Serpentine Lake.
In addition to the site specific AR work, Acute Art will also develop a version that users can place at home or wherever they are, The London Mastaba AR (2020). Viewers will be able to place and interact with the piece without travelling to Hyde Park, allowing the project to reach a truly global and diverse audience.
The London Mastaba Serpentine Lake Hyde Park 2018 ©Wolfgang Volz