We are probably the only artists in the world who have a 2,000-page book on a work of art that doesn't exist. But in this way, these projects reveal their identity through this whole process. When I'm starting, I only have the slightest idea of how the work of art will exist.
In 1964, Jeanne-Claude and I became illegal aliens. That's when we moved here from Paris. And for three years, we were illegal aliens living in an illegal building. At that time, some artists started to move to SoHo, and they put A.I.R. - artists-in-residence - up on their windows.
The work of art is a scream of freedom.
Therefore, when we arrive in a place and talk to new people about a new image, it is very hard for them to visualize it. That's where the drawings are very important, because at least we can show a projection of what we believe it will look like.
The other work we started in 1992, it is called Over the River, Project for the Arkansas River in the state of Colorado, we haven't got the permit yet. And, we are working at both of those, trying to get the permit. Therefore, we do not know which one will be realized next.
It appears to be monumental only because it's art.
Therefore we have to go over the fact that all human beings are afraid by what is new. It is our work to convince them that they will enjoy it, and even if they don't, to allow us just for 14 days to create that work of art.
People think our work is monumental because it's art, but human beings do much bigger things: they build giant airports, highways for thousands of miles, much, much bigger than what we create.
It's very important to understand that we never do the same thing twice; each of our projects is unique. We'll never do another 'Gates.' Each project is a unique image. We do not know in advance how the work will look. I do preparatory drawings, but they are only projections of our vision.
To keep that absolute freedom we cannot be obliged to anyone.