One of the more ephemeral experiences this summer was Christo and Jeanne-Claude's Floating Piers installation on Lake Iseo, 100 km east of Milan, Italy. For only 16 days from June 18 - July 3, 2016, visitors were able to experience the sensation of walking on water.
A 3-km long walkway made of recyclable plastic floating cubes connected the town of Sulzano to the islands of Monte Isola and San Paolo, creating an undulating path to these islands normally reached by ferry. The Floating Piers attracted 1.2 million visitors, double the forecasted 500,000.
At 16 meters wide and 35 cm high with sloping sides and covered in saffron-colored fabric, people experienced walking on water, many going barefoot. "People come from everywhere to walk to nowhere. Not to shop, not to meet friends. They just walk-- to nowhere," said the Bulgarian-born American artist, "An important part of this project is the temporary part. It has a nomadic quality." Christo, along with his wife Jeanne-Claude, famously wrapped the Reichstag in Berlin and the Pont Neuf in Paris with fabric, and installed umbrellas in California and Japan, a fabric fence in Marin County, and gates in Central Park.
The artwork cost $16.7 million dollars, financed completely through sales of Christo's preparatory drawings. All components of the installation will be recycled after its last day, July 3.
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