One part of famous art duo “Christo and Jeanne-Claude” – Christo Iavashev visits Italy after 40 years with new project.

After Jeanne passed away (November 18th, 2009) for a long time Christo wasn’t seen on a creative field and it was thought that he abandoned art; but in 2016 he returns with new installation – “The Floating Piers”. It is Christo’s second large scale project. “The Floating Piers” will cost about 100 million euros and like other projects, will be founded from the sales of artist’s works.

From June 18 to July 3 Lake Iseo (the fourth largest lake in Italy) will be reimagined. 70000 square meters of shimmering yellow fabric, carried by a modular floating dock system of 200000 high-density polyethylene cubes, will create a path along the coast. It will undulate with the movement of the waves and create an unforgettable experience for pedestrians. After 16 days piers will be dismantled; all components will be removed and industrially recycled.

Less known Lake Iseo is 100 kilometers east from Milan, though tourists haven’t overrun it yet. In the spring and summer of 2014, Christo with other members of the project scouted it. There are two islands in the lake: Monte Isola and San Paolo; 16 meters wide and 50 centimeters high piers will connect these islands and Sulzano. It will go along 1.5 kilometers of Sulzano’s coast, then continue 3 kilometers into the water and create a path between these three locations. 17750 pedestrians can use it at the same time. From high mountains around the lake the whole installations can be seen. As the light changes, piers’ color will change too: at some point during the day it can be deep yellow, bright golden and in case of getting wet – reddish.

“The Floating Piers” isn’t Christo’s first project where he uses water for its fluidity; “Wrapped Coast” (1969), “Running Fence” (1976), “Surrounded Islands” (1983) and “Pont Neuf” (1985) are artist’s projects where water plays a main role. Christo had an idea to create the piers for a long time. Project’s firs locations were considered in Buenos Aires and Tokyo, but because of government’s rejection, project in above-mentioned countries failed.

It took Christo only one year to get a permit to build the floating piers in Italy. Scientists, structural engineers and divers, along with construction workers are involved in its creation. Before starting constructions in Lake Iseo, Christo experimented in different locations to ensure perfection of his plans. Since December divers began to place 140 five-ton anchors deep in lake and fabric for the piers is being woven in a factory in Germany. The final phase of the project will take a week and will involve 600 workers.


Author: Meri Khamkhadze




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