Walking on the Water with Christo and Jean-Claude’s ‘Floating Piers’ in Italy | Yatzer


 

Perhaps one of the most famous artist couples of the 20th century, Christo and Jean-Claude have become synonymous with larger-than-life fabric installations that usually involve wrapping buildings, trees, even entire cliffs with cloth. They have notoriously hung a 400-meter piece of orange fabric across a canyon in Colorado (Valley Curtain, 1972) and wrapped famous buildings like the Pont Neuf in Paris (1985) and the German Reichstag (1995).

Source: Walking on the Water with Christo and Jean-Claude’s ‘Floating Piers’ in Italy | Yatzer

Perhaps one of the most famous artist couples of the 20th century,Christo and Jean-Claude have become synonymous with larger-than-life fabric installations that usually involve wrapping buildings, trees, even entire cliffs with cloth. They have notoriously hung a 400-meter piece of orange fabric across a canyon inColorado (Valley Curtain, 1972) and wrapped famous buildings like the Pont Neuf in Paris (1985) and the German Reichstag(1995). Some of their more controversial projects include installing thousands of umbrellas in California and Japan simultaneously, and filling New York’s Central Park with 7503 decorative gates (the Gates, 2005), which received mixed reactions from New Yorkers. Although the artists have stated that there is no meaning or intention behind their work other than its aesthetic impact, Christo and Jean-Claude have undertaken some of the most ambitious projects in 20th-century art history, both in terms of scale and cost not to mention temporary; all of Christo and Jean-Claude’s large-scale projects no longer exist, and were often self-funded by the artists themselves through their selling concept drawings and collages from the preparation of each project. The only Christo and Jean-Claude large-scale work that will be permanent if completed is the planned ‘Mastaba‘, a trapezoidal structure made of over 400,000 oil barrels to be built near Abu Dhabi.

Lake Iseo with the town of Sulzano in the foreground, the island of Monte Isola in the center and the island of San Paolo on the left. Photo by Wolfgang Volz.
Lake Iseo with the town of Sulzano in the foreground, the island of Monte Isola in the center and the island of San Paolo on the left. Photo by Wolfgang Volz.
The town of Peschiera Maraglio on the island of Monte Isola. Photo by Wolfgang Volz. 
The town of Peschiera Maraglio on the island of Monte Isola. Photo by Wolfgang Volz.
Photo by Wolfgang Volz © 2016 Christo.
Photo by Wolfgang Volz © 2016 Christo.

The most recent Christo and Jean-Claude project to have been executed is an impressive installation of floating corridors covered with orange cloth in Lake Iseo, Italy. The pair’s first project to be completed after Jean-Claude passed away in 2009, “The Floating Piers” was conceived in the 1970’s and comprises a total of 5.5 kilometres of walkways, 3 km of which float on the water by means of specially-designed polyethylene cubes. The result is an undulating stretch of walkable platforms connecting the coastal village of Sulzano with the island of Monte Isola and the tiny islet of San Paolo, providing visitors with the opportunity to walk through the villages and across the water uninterruptedly. Unlike most other works by Christo and Jean-Claude, where the flowing and drooping shapes of the fabric conceal and alter the solid forms of architecture and nature, The Floating Piers are linear and strictly geometric in form, almost as if they’re imposing a rigid, mathematical principle on the water and the Alpine landscape. The installation is open to everyone free of charge 24 hours a day (weather permitting), and will be dismantled after July 3rd. According to the project website, all materials used for the work will be industrially recycled.

Photo by Wolfgang Volz © 2016 Christo.
Photo by Wolfgang Volz © 2016 Christo.
Photo by Wolfgang Volz © 2016 Christo.
Photo by Wolfgang Volz © 2016 Christo.
Photo by Wolfgang Volz © 2016 Christo.
Photo by Wolfgang Volz © 2016 Christo.
Photo by Wolfgang Volz © 2016 Christo.
Photo by Wolfgang Volz © 2016 Christo.
Photo by Wolfgang Volz © 2016 Christo.
Photo by Wolfgang Volz © 2016 Christo.

“Do you know that I don’t have any artworks that exist? They all go away when they’re finished. I think it takes much greater courage to create things to be gone than to create things that will remain.”

 

Christo
Photo by Wolfgang Volz © 2016 Christo.
Photo by Wolfgang Volz © 2016 Christo.
At the textile manufacturer Setex, 90,000 square meters of shimmering yellow fabric are produced, Greven, Germany, August 2014. Photo by Wolfgang Volz.
At the textile manufacturer Setex, 90,000 square meters of shimmering yellow fabric are produced, Greven, Germany, August 2014. Photo by Wolfgang Volz.
At a factory in Fondotoce at Lago Maggiore, 200,000 high-density polyethylene cubes are manufactured over a period of eight months before delivery to project work site in Montecolino, January 2016. Photo by Wolfgang Volz.
At a factory in Fondotoce at Lago Maggiore, 200,000 high-density polyethylene cubes are manufactured over a period of eight months before delivery to project work site in Montecolino, January 2016. Photo by Wolfgang Volz.
At geo – die Luftwerker, 75,000 square meters of yellow fabric are sewn into panels, Lübeck, Germany, February 2016. Photo by Wolfgang Volz.
At geo – die Luftwerker, 75,000 square meters of yellow fabric are sewn into panels, Lübeck, Germany, February 2016. Photo by Wolfgang Volz.

One by one, workers install the 100 by 16 meter sections to connect the islands of San Paolo and Monte Isola with the city of Sulzano.

Aerial view of the project’s building yard on the Montecolino peninsula (left) and the parking area for the thirty 100 by 16 meter sections on Lake Iseo (right), April 2016. Photo by Wolfgang Volz.
Aerial view of the project’s building yard on the Montecolino peninsula (left) and the parking area for the thirty 100 by 16 meter sections on Lake Iseo (right), April 2016. Photo by Wolfgang Volz.
Workers start to encircle the island of San Paolo with the first floating elements, April 2016. Photo by Wolfgang Volz.
Workers start to encircle the island of San Paolo with the first floating elements, April 2016. Photo by Wolfgang Volz.
The felt that will cover the cubes underneath the yellow fabric is transported from Montecolino to San Paolo island by Elimast Helicopter Service, May 2016. Photo by Wolfgang Volz.
The felt that will cover the cubes underneath the yellow fabric is transported from Montecolino to San Paolo island by Elimast Helicopter Service, May 2016. Photo by Wolfgang Volz.

The outer cubes are filled with water so the piers slope into the lake along the sides.

Workers install the felt that will cover the floating cubes before the yellow fabric is installed, May 2016. Photo by Wolfgang Volz.
Workers install the felt that will cover the floating cubes before the yellow fabric is installed, May 2016. Photo by Wolfgang Volz.
At the headquarters in Montecolino, construction workers assemble the piers, which are assembled in 100-meter-long segments and stored outside Montecolino on Lake Iseo, January 2016. Photo by Wolfgang Volz.
At the headquarters in Montecolino, construction workers assemble the piers, which are assembled in 100-meter-long segments and stored outside Montecolino on Lake Iseo, January 2016. Photo by Wolfgang Volz.
Installation of the Piers, June 2016. Photo by Wolfgang Volz.
Installation of the Piers, June 2016. Photo by Wolfgang Volz.
Installation of the Piers, June 2016. Photo by Wolfgang Volz.
Installation of the Piers, June 2016. Photo by Wolfgang Volz.
Christo in his studio working on a preparatory drawing forThe Floating Piers, New York, November 2015. Photo by Wolfgang Volz.
Christo in his studio working on a preparatory drawing forThe Floating Piers, New York, November 2015. Photo by Wolfgang Volz.
Christo, Collage 2015. 11 x 8 1/2" (28 x 21.5 cm). Pencil, wax crayon, enamel paint, photograph by Wolfgang Volz, aerial photograph and fabric sample. Photo by André Grossmann © 2015 Christo.
ChristoCollage 2015. 11 x 8 1/2″ (28 x 21.5 cm). Pencil, wax crayon, enamel paint, photograph by Wolfgang Volz, aerial photograph and fabric sample. Photo by André Grossmann © 2015 Christo.
Christo, Drawing 2016 in two parts. 15 x 96" and 42 x 96" (38 x 244 cm and 106.6 x 244 cm). Pencil, charcoal, pastel, wax crayon, enamel paint, cut-out photographs by Wolfgang Volz, hand-drawn map and fabric sample. Photo by André Grossmann © 2016 Christo.
ChristoDrawing 2016 in two parts. 15 x 96″ and 42 x 96″ (38 x 244 cm and 106.6 x 244 cm). Pencil, charcoal, pastel, wax crayon, enamel paint, cut-out photographs by Wolfgang Volz, hand-drawn map and fabric sample. Photo by André Grossmann © 2016 Christo.
Follow Yatzer in Instagram

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s