The Floating Piers installation promises to be highly impressive. It is being set up at Lake Iseo in northern Italy, and will be open from 18 June to 3 July 2016, marking Christo’s return to Italy after 40 years.

The installation will lead visitors on a three-kilometre route across the lake and along its shores. The work consists of 70,000 square metres of shimmering orange fabric covering a sequence of 16-metre-wide modular floating piers that consist of 200,000 cubes of high-density polyethylene. The piers will stretch across land and water, from Sulzano to Monte Isola, and including the Island of San Paolo.

To complement this huge installation, a side exhibition has been conceived: Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Water Projects presents a chronological display of the artists’ monumental works since the early 1960s and illustrates their seven Water Projects, from Wrapped Coast, One Million Square Feet, Little Bay, Sydney, Australia (1968-1969) to The Floating Piers project for Lake Iseo (2014-16). The exhibition aims to present the projects within a historical framework, contextualising their evolution from 1961 to the present day and illustrating the artists’ water-related works in their different stages of realisation, from the first concept sketches to the drawings, collages, and models that follow, all the way to the actual realisation of the work, which is documented in the form of photos and videos. It will also include an informative and interactive section documenting the Lake Iseo environmental art project in the making; in this section, viewers will have the chance to see video projections and a display of materials (also virtual) by the artist, all related to the project’s realisation process, alongside a live streaming of photos and videos posted by those visiting the installation at the lake.

A particularly interesting aspect of the cultural programme is the workshops that are organised in parallel. On The Water Surface is an activity focused on the methods employed in designing and preparing large-scale environmental works. Starting with Floating Piers on Lake Iseo, participants will analyse the structure of the territory, the spirt of the intervention, and the materials and their colour impact, in order to envision a ‘new’ macroscopic design within that very landscape.

This article appeared in DAM56. Order your personal copy.