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Christo’s Grand- Scale Artwork Floating Piers project on Lake Iseo, Italy

Christo’s exhibit — “The Floating Piers” — which closed Monday after a 16-day exhibit at Lake Iseo, Italy, are as diverse as the artist’s grand-scale artworks. 

Christo says the artwork was a success. Others, like members of Rags Over the Arkansas River, who oppose Christo’s “Over the River” artwork planned for the Arkansas River corridor between Salida and Canon City, said the project was problematic at best.

“The Floating Piers” featured fabric-covered piers that stretched across the water of Lake Iseo and continued along sidewalks. Visitors — estimated at 1.2 million — were allowed to visit the artwork free of charge and walk over the piers, which caused unforeseen issues.

“Christo never seems to get the engineering right. Nor does he accurately factor in weather patterns, wind speeds, public health risks and the consequence of over-promoting his projects with no regard for the many negative impacts he engenders,” said Joan Anzelmo, Rags Over the Arkansas River spokeswoman. “In Italy, local authorities were forced to turn away hundreds of people trying to get to ‘The Floating Piers’ exhibit, so besieged were the nearby towns and trains.

For sixteen days – June 18 through July 3, 2016 – Italy’s Lake Iseo was reimagined. 100,000 square meters of shimmering yellow fabric, carried by a modular floating dock system of 220,000 high-density polyethylene cubes, undulated with the movement of the waves as The Floating Piers rose just above the surface of the water.

 Workers install the felt that will cover the floating cubes before the yellow fabric is installed, May 2016

From the evening of June 15 to the evening of June 17, teams unfurl 100,000 square meters of shimmering dahlia-yellow fabric on the piers and pedestrian streets in Sulzano and Peschiera Maraglio

The Walkway
A 3-kilometer-long walkway was created as The Floating Piers extended across the water of Lake Iseo. The piers were 16 meters wide and approximately 35 centimeters high with sloping sides. The fabric continued along 2.5 kilometers of pedestrian streets in Sulzano and Peschiera Maraglio.

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

The Experience
Visitors were able experience this work of art by walking on it from Sulzano to Monte Isola and to the island of San Paolo, which was framed by The Floating Piers. The mountains surrounding the lake offered a bird’s-eye view of The Floating Piers, exposing unnoticed angles and altering perspectives.

Lake Iseo is located 100 kilometers east of Milan and 200 kilometers west of Venice. “Like all of our projects, The Floating Piers were absolutely free and open to the public,” said Christo. “There were no tickets, no openings, no reservations and no owners. The Floating Piers were an extension of the street and belonged to everyone.”

Source: christojeanneclaude.net

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