April 1, 2017. Providence, RI. The celebrated artist Christo has released a preliminary illustration of his grand project to hang gigantic laundry from the power lines over the Providence River. Renowned for his ground-breaking projects around the world, he chose Providence for his newest project after abandoning a years-long fight to drape translucent panels over miles of a river in Colorado.
The project bids to equal Christo's triumph with "The Gates" in New York's Central Park back in 2008. At an informal press conference on the deck at the Hot Club, Christo commented on his project, which he calls Laundry/Providence:
"I sense a spirit of revival in Rhode Island. After planning that Colorado project for nearly 20 years, and fighting for approval in court for another five years, I wanted to wash my hands of the whole thing."
"Rhode Island offers me the opportunity for a new beginning. A way to start fresh and clean!"
"Your beautiful state has a reputation as a place where you can get things done easily. In my short few weeks here, I have come to know a number of guys who say they are eager to help me."
"As I see it right now, Laundry/Providence will stretch from the tower at the east end of South Street Landing south to a tower at the corner of the Manchester Street Power Plant, where it will make a left turn to head across the river, fly above India Point Park and the Seekonk River and end somewhere near how do you say it? Tockwotten senior house."
Since the electric cables are already permanently in place and obviously can never be moved, that part of the project is already done. The real complication is finding a location to build a washing machine that can handle 1,600-sq. foot bed sheets and 30-foot long beach towels. Sourcing laundry detergent in large quantities dictates that the site be near a railroad. And we'll need really powerful helicopters to lift all that wet laundry and hang it in place; maybe get the chopper that replaced the air conditioning units at the Providence Place Mall.
But these are just details. We faced similar problems with the curtains in Central Park years ago. And that sure worked OK in the end, didn't it!"
"To give you a sense of the scale, I estimate clothespins about 6 feet long. Solid maple. The trick will be to compress the spring enough to slip it over the cable while the helicopter lowers the wet garment or towel into place, then release it so the item stays securely clipped on. King-size bed
"Yes, for little Rhode Island, this will be big, very big. It will provide many jobs, too. I plan to open discussions with your Commerce Corporation soon to see about getting some of those tax credits I have heard so much about."
"I am really excited to be doing my first project in New England. You can imagine how dramatic the view will be from your new pedestrian bridge. Sort of a wash-day miracle."