Floating Piers is a life experience. Much has already been said about it: how much was spent, how many hours of queuing you had to face to get onto it, what the artist wanted to communicate with this work, how many people felt ill during the inauguration, etc . but what nobody has talked about yet is the overall range of feelings and emotions that the public felt when they had the opportunity to experience the work in question.
Christo, full name Christo Vladimirov Yavache, is considered to be one of the leading exponents of Land Art, an art movement characterized by installations – often of considerable size – created directly in a natural setting and so Floating Piers is a splendid example of Land Art that will make the landscape around Lake Iseo unique for 16 days. But there’s more to it. Floating Piers is also an interactive installation, it needs the active intervention of the visitor, it wasn’t created just to be admired, but to be experienced.
As well as being a feat of engineering, the more than 3kms of yellow walkway linking Sulzano with Monte Isola and the island of St. Paul represent an ideal bridge between our comfort zones and all that is still unexplored.
The heat, the tremendous numbers of people, the feeling of instability caused by the gentle undulating, the long route itself, all contributed to make crossing it more like a competition from Jeux sans Frontièrs than a long walk by (and on) a lake. But the desire to move forward, the curiosity of enjoying constantly new points of view (which we might otherwise have never been able to see without a boat), the feeling of well-being created by having had the good fortune of being able to finally enjoy a work by Christo, or simply just the fact of being able to walk on something that very shortly will no longer exist, is enough in itself.
Christo has given us a wonderful present: he has given us the opportunity to look at what surrounds us (more or less daily) from a new point of view; he has reminded us not to take anything for granted; he has allowed us to see how beautiful our country is and he has made us more aware of how important it is to live our lives here and now. This is an experience that will never happen again, so whether you consider it a work of art or simply enjoy it, you will definitely return enriched.
First picture: @nico_virlan