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Walk on Water with Christo and Jeanne Claude's Floating Piers

Helen Wu

image: Wolfgang Volz

image: Wolfgang Volz

By now you would have caught the wind about Christo and Jeanne Claude's "The Floating Piers", a large scale public art installation 'floating' on Lake Iseo, Italy. The installation was just completed, and for sixteen days from June 18 through July 3, 2016, 100,000 square meters of shimmering yellow fabric, carried by a modular floating dock system of 220,000 high-density polyethylene cubes. As The Floating Piers rise just above the surface of the water, it allows visitors to experience this work of art by walking on it from Sulzano to Monte Isola and to the island of San Paolo. Lake Iseo is located 100 kilometers east of Milan and 200 kilometers west of Venice. 

“Those who experience The Floating Piers will feel like they are walking on water – or perhaps the back of a whale,” said Christo. “The light and water will transform the bright yellow fabric to shades of red and gold throughout the sixteen days.”

In the spring and summer of 2014, Christo, Vladimir Yavachev – Operations Director, Wolfgang Volz – Project Manager, and Josy Kraft – Registrar/Curator, scouted the lakes of Northern Italy. Along with Project Director Germano Celant, they found Lake Iseo to be the most inspiring location. Since that time they have worked alongside team members from around the world to realize The Floating Piers.

The Floating Piers was first conceived by Christo and Jeanne-Claude together in 1970. It is Christo’s first large-scale project since Christo and Jeanne-Claude realized The Gates in 2005, and since Jeanne-Claude passed away in 2009. After the 16-day exhibition, all components will be removed and industrially recycled.

Christo and Jeanne-Claude have a long history of creating projects in Italy: Wrapped Fountain and Wrapped Medieval Tower in Spoleto, 1968; Wrapped Monuments in Milan, 1970; and The Wall – Wrapped Roman Wall in Rome, 1973–74

image: Wolfgang Volz

image: Wolfgang Volz

More information here:
http://www.thefloatingpiers.com