The exhibition Water Projects at the Santa Giulia Museum in Brescia, Italy, has been conceived as a complement to Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s The Floating Piers installation that will be open to viewers on the nearby Lake Iseo from June 18 to July 3, 2016. Water Projects is curated by Germano Celant and features over 150 exhibits comprising original preparatory studies, scale-models, photos of the finished projects, videos, and films. Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Water Projects presents a chronological display of the artists’ works since the early Sixties. The exhibition 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, Italy, 2014-16. The exhibition will also include an informative and interactive section opening in June, documenting the Lake Iseo environmental art project in the making and a live streaming of photos and videos posted by the viewers visiting the installation on the Lake.
Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Water Projects / Museo di Santa Giulia, Brescia (Italy). Preview, April 6, 2016.
PS: Click here for a documentation of the press conference by Pierfabrizio Paradiso.
> Right-click (Mac: ctrl-click) this link to download Quicktime video file.
April 6, 2016 at the Santa Giulia Museum, Christo and Germano Celant, with Brescia’s Mayor Emilio Del Bono, Deputy-Mayor and Councilor for Culture Laura Castelletti, President of Fondazione Brescia Musei Massimo Minini and Director of Fondazione Brescia Musei Luigi Di Corato, will present the exhibition Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Water Projects, opening April 7. Set in the 2000 square meter spaces of Santa Giulia Museum, the show – curated by Celant in collaboration with the artist and his studio – will offer an unprecedented display of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s water-related projects, that is those based on rural and urban landscapes characterized by the presence of water in the form of an ocean, a sea, a lake, or a river.
With over 150 exhibits comprising the artists’ original preparatory studies, drawings and collages, complemented by scale-models, photos of the finished projects, videos, and films, inside the museum’s 2000 square meter exhibition space, Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Water Projects presents a chronological display of the artists’ monumental works since the early Sixties 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, Italy, 2014-16. The exhibition aims at presenting the projects within a historical framework, contextualizing their evolution, from 1961 to the present day, illustrating the artists’ water- related works in their different stages of realization, from the first concept sketches, to the drawings, collages and models that follow, all the way to the actual realization of the work documented in the form of photos and videos. The exhibition will also include an informative and interactive section opening in June, 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 realization process, alongside a live streaming of photos and videos posted by the viewers visiting the installation on the Lake.
This exhibition in fact has been conceived as a complement to The Floating Piers installation that will be set up and open to viewers on Lake Iseo from June 18 to July 3, 2016, marking Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s return to Italy after forty years. The installation will lead visitors along a three-kilometre route across the Lake’s waters and along its shores. The work will consist of 70.000 square meters of shimmering orange fabric covering a sequence of 16-meter-wide modular floating piers made with 200.000 cubes of high-density polyethylene. The itinerary will stretch across land and water, from Sulzano to Monte Isola, also comprising the Island of San Paolo.
The exhibition catalogue, edited by Germano Celant, will be published in a bilingual Italian- English edition by Silvana Editoriale, Milan. The publication will include a chronological listing of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s large-scale projects (even those that were never realized) from 1961 to 2016, with particular focus on the single Water Projects. Every project – either accomplished, ongoing, or never realized – will be introduced by an explanatory text accompanied by images of the preliminary sketches, and photo-documentation of the preparatory works and final set up.
With over 150 studies, drawings, collages, models and photographs from many Italian and international collections, the exhibition Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Water Projects, curated by Germano Celant in collaboration with Christo and his studio, presents for the first time a full reconstruction of the water-related monumental past or currently ongoing projects from 1968 to 2016.
The Chronology section of the exhibition, consisting of original works, scale models, photographs and original documents, offers an introduction to the large-scale environmental works designed and realized since the early Sixties up to the present day, including those which Christo has continued working on even after Jeanne-Claude’s death in 2009. From Wall of Oil Barrels – The Iron Curtain, Rue Visconti, Paris, 1961-1962, to Wrapped Reichstag, Berlin, 1971-1995, from Wrapped Monuments, Milano, Italy, 1970, to Wrapped Trees, Fondation Beyeler and Berower Park, Riehen, Switzerland,1997-1998, from Valley Curtain, Rifle, Colorado,1970-1972 to The Gates, Central Park, New York City, 1979-2005, the exhibit spans over fifty years of activity including over thirty of the artists’ projects and works.
Water first appeared in Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s artistic output in Wrapped Coast – a project developed in Australia in the late nineteen-sixties – and has since then been part of other six projects up to today’s 2016 The Floating Piers project.
Besides working with oceans and lakes, the artists have also dealt with river landscapes, such as in Over the River, Arkansas River, State of Colorado, ongoing since 1992, and The Pont Neuf Wrapped, Paris, France, 1975-1985, and with a bay landscape, as for instance in Surrounded Islands, Biscayne Bay, Greater Miami, Florida, 1980-1983, always drawing their focus onto each of these site’s natural environments as well as onto man’s multifaceted presence in terms of human settlement, economy and society.