2019 Student Research Conference:
32nd Annual Student Research Conference

Not Just a Bath Toy: The Reception of the London Mastaba on Instagram

Danie L. Klein
Dr. Heidi Cook and Dr. Sara Orel, Faculty Mentors

During the abnormally sunny summer of 2018, Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s sculpture London Mastaba was installed in the Serpentine Lake. The hashtags #ChristoLondon and #LondonMastaba were publicized in conjunction with the installation and accumulated over 4,000 posts on Instagram. This research project analyzes the reception of London Mastaba by examining the Instagram posts made using these hashtags. Some Instagram users found the interactions of the brightly colored barrels and the surface of the lake to be mesmerizing. In contrast, other viewers were confused by the installation and related the installation to familiar objects. I argue that the popular reception of the London Mastaba on Instagram is rooted primarily in aesthetics. This presentation elaborates on how these types of interactions on Instagram do not allow viewers to have a meaningful experience with the London Mastaba. Through researching the hashtag associated with the London Mastaba this presentation considers how the public is influenced by the artistic process of Christo and Jeanne-Claude.

Keywords: Christo and Jeanne-Claude, London Mastaba

Topic(s):Art - Art History

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 109-1
Location: MC 210
Time: 8:30

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