Bad Soden, Germany,

Messer supports Christo exhibition

Messer, the largest privately run industrial gases specialist, is sponsoring the “Big Air Package” project by world-renowned artist Christo. It can be seen from 15 March to 30 December 2013 in the Gasometer Oberhausen.

A press conference was held on 14 June 2012 to announce this collaboration between the Gasometer and Christo and to present the “Big Air Package” project. It is a hitherto unique Christo exhibition as visitors will not only be looking at the wrapped object from the outside but will actually be able to enter it and thus experience first hand the vast air space that surrounds them.

The intention is that visitors experience this monumental space – flooded with light and surrounded by transparent fabric – as a cathedral of air. “Big Air Package” envelops the element of life – air – rather than an object. With a volume of over 177,000 cubic metres, the air package will take up almost the entire space of the Gasometer, making it one of the largest sculptures in the world. This is an artistic symbol of the value and preciousness of the atmosphere that surrounds the Earth.

Industrial gases producer Messer, the sponsor of the exhibition, obtains a large proportion of its products from the valuable resource that is air. Since the beginning of 2012, the company has made its business purpose and corporate culture clear with the slogan “Messer - Gases for Life“. In addition, “Gases for Life” is intended to demonstrate the variety of products and their areas of application. Gases are as important as water and electricity in many production processes, and countless everyday products are inconceivable without them. Carbon dioxide provides the sparkle in soft drinks, and oxygen is used in combustion processes, for example to manufacture glass or steel. Nitrogen is used, among other things, as a protective gas to prevent unwanted oxidation in food production – for instance to keep potato crisps crispy in the packet.

The “Big Air Package“ project, which will unfold in the air space and on the middle floor of the Gasometer, will be supplemented by an exhibition on the lower floor featuring the most significant projects created by Christo and Jeanne-Claude over the past decades. Their objective has always been to use the process of wrapping and enclosing to highlight the fact that the creative forces of nature and culture are precious and worth protecting. The wrapped object causes the viewer to remember what has been hidden. The photographs by Wolfgang Volz – together with draft drawings, models and films – clearly illustrate the links between the works of Christo and Jeanne-Claude.