One of the most fascinating pieces of land art is about to be reveled in Northern Italy. The project titled The Floating Piers will completely transform the landscape of the Italy’s Lake Iseo, located near Milan. This amazing land art project is conceptualized by famous artists Christo and his late wife Jeanne-Claude. The radical transformation of the beautiful Italian landscape is expected to draw half a million visitors (although the Iseo lake is not as famous as Como), as it's already raising a lot of interest from the international art community. As Christo said to the residents of the little town on the lake Monte Isola: For the first time, for 16 days, from the 18th of June to July 3, they will walk on the water.
Christo Vladimirov Javacheff and Jeanne-Claude were a famous married couple who created immersive environmental works of art. Christo was born in Bulgaria, while Jeanne-Claude in Morocco. Jeanne-Claude passed away in 2009, but Christo continued with their joint art practice. Without a doubt, Christo and Jeanne-Claude are one of the most recognized artists in what is called environmental art, as their projects have continuously drawn significant international attention. Focusing exclusively on aesthetics, they created dozens of stunning artworks and one of the most notable ones was Wrapped Reichstag in Berlin in 1995 that was visited by 5 Million people. Similarly, The Gates in New York City's Central Park in 2005 was visited by 2 Million people. Speaking about The Floating Piers, it’s going to be the artists' first project of such a large scale since Christo and Jeanne-Claude realized The Gates in 2005. The project was started in the spring of 2014, when the team consisting of Christo, Vladimir Yavachev - Operations Director, Wolfgang Volz - Project Manager, and Josy Kraft - Registrar/Curator, scouted the lakes of Northern Italy. After some time, together with the Project Director Germano Celant, they found the lake of Iseo to be the most inspiring location. The main contractor of the world famous art installation created by Christo and Jeanne-Claude was Deep-Dive-Systems company established in 2009 and composed of Bulgarian and French professionals who have extensive experience accumulated in mutual work on a number of major projects. The Director of construction of this splendid piece was Rosen Jeliazkov who, together with Ina Dimitrova, organized the teams involved with the project.
This huge installation, a stunning example of land art, is built with 100,000 square meters of shimmering yellow fabric, carried by a modular floating dock system of 220,000 high-density poly-ethylene cubes. These cubes undulate with the movement of the waves (although one of the reasons why the lake of Iseo was chosen was because of its calm water). The visitors and the residents will use the artwork as a walking path from Sulzano to Monte Isola and to the island of San Paolo, which is framed by The Floating Piers. The walkway is 3 kilometers long, 16 meters wide and approximately 35 centimeters high with sloping sides. Thanks to the high mountains, the beautiful bird-eye perspective is also secured.
The project cost around 15 million euro ($24 million) and it was entirely financed by the artist himself. The entrance will be free, while 150 volunteers, among them the lifeguards as well, will be posted on the piers and on boats around the clock to ensure safety. The visitors can enjoy this stunning piece of land art from several points: from mountains, boats, or simply walking along the piers themselves. The platform will be fully accessible to all from June 18 until July 3, 2016. For more information about the project, please visit the official website of The Floating Piers.
On July 3, the Floating Pierce installation closed down. The materials that were used to build this gigantic piece of land art projected by Christo and his late wife Jeanne-Claude will be recycled for further use. More than 1 Million people visited the Iseo Lake (where the Pierce were installed), and they got a chance to walk on the water. The mayor of Monte Isola, Fiorello Turla said that his small town was “‘Caput Mundi’ (Capital of the World) for 16 days.” He added: “I was there, I’ve been part of this incredible event that was The Floating Piers. Hotels, restaurants, bars, and shops recorded astonishing attendance, and images of Lake Iseo were broadcast on the major international networks. For my small island it’s been a challenge that we enthusiastically met and we are grateful for this wonderful experience, which will have lasting impact on the future of the tourist industry of our area.”
It seems that not all materials will be recycled after all. As Austrian Der Standard reports, pieces of Floating Piers are already appearing for sale across the Internet. A piece of square of the fabric are being auctioned on eBay for up to €50, while the packages that include the official Lake Iseo socks visitors had to wear are being listed for up to €1000.
Featured Images: Christo and Jeanne-Claude - The Floating Piers, detail; Christo and Jeanne-Claude - An aerial view of the work in process (courtesy of naplesherald.com). All Images used for illustrative purposes only.