They aren’t boats but they’ll float, too. They are the piers that Christo, a Bulgarian artist famous for his wonderful works, is going to install on Lake Iseo. The work will be called Floating Piers and it was conceived by Christo and his wife Jeanne-Claude (died in 2009) many years ago but it hadn’t never found the right place. Christo has been working for months with his team on Lake Iseo, the chosen location which will host the installation from June 18th to July 3rd 2016 ( the longest days of the year). It will disturb the stillness of the lake banks and waters.
Floating Piers will have a long gangway between mainland and a floating pier covered by a yellow canvas for a total of four kilometres: if you want to understand the work, you’ll have to walk on it and perceive the sudden change in balance between mainland and the floating platform, conditioned by water and waves movement. Piers will have also decreasing borders which will continuously invite the walker to approach to the water.
Floating Piers will made up of tens of thousands of polypropylene parallelepipeds, connected with 100mx16m modules fixed on the lake bottom from 100 anchors, installed by a team of scuba divers and engineers. It is an expensive work, about 10 million Euros, which will be entirely financed by Christo through the sale of his drawings and sketches, with no sponsors or subsidies.
Some of Christo and Jeann-Claude’s works were conceived to be made in a specific place (the most famous one is maybe The Gates, built in Central Park, New York, in 2005), while Floating Piers have been conceived regardless of the location. The installation had been already tried in Buenos Aires and Tokyo but it didn’t obtained the necessary permissions. Then the artist thought about Lake Iseo: Christo knows Italy very well and our country has already hosted some of his works, in particular the lake and island of Montisola, where every day about 2,000 people have to take a ferryboat to reach the mainland. From here, the idea to link the two sides.
Featured image: Christo, The Floating Piers. Collage 2014, 43,2 x 55,9 cm. Pencil, wax crayon, varnish,. Photo by Wolfgang Volz, map, fabric sample and ribbon. Photo by: André Grossmann © 2014 Christo