Thursday, 24 August 2017
The Floating Piers - The old dream of humanity to walk upon water - The experiences of the german journalist Annalena Hieber

The Floating Piers - The old dream of humanity to walk upon water

The experiences of the german journalist Annalena Hieber


When I heart that Christo will make his - probably his last one - artwork at Lago d’Iseo, I decided to go there with my film camera. Actually I am a redactor and presentor, but during my years in a television cannel, I also learnt to film and to cut. In the case of ‚The Floating Piers‘ there was nobody who wanted to pay me - like it happens unfortunalety often in the area of arte - and so I decided to realize a project voluntary. I always have admired a lot the work of Christo e Jean-Claude and when I learnt for my high school exams, I occupied myself deeply with all of his artworks. For me it was kind of a honor to have had the opportunity to go there with my car - this wouldn’t has been possible with his former artworks. The other thing which me motivated a lot was the fact that I like to move to Italy and work there as a journalist. ‚The Floating Piers‘ has been my first project in Italy.

I arrived at Lake Iseo late a night and lived in a village above Pisogne, which was called Val Palot. I booked for three days, because I even knew in advance that it won’t be easy to organize my film records regarding the plenty of people , that were expected. In the night I couldn’t see much. The bigger was my surprise and joy when I saw everything the morning after. First I started with filming on a hill upon Sulzano e I was hit by the size and perfection of this swimming path in orange. The riverside of Sulzano united with the riverside of Monte Isola, thanks of the swimming path - what a spectacle. Just sixteen days this artwork extraordinary remained and the old dream of humanity to walk upon water was possible for everybody who came here. This is one of the greatest things which Christo create: His art brings together people from all over the world. So it was also at Lake Iseo and for me this was at the same time the challenge to take. After my film records from above, I went down to Sulzano and had to accept that it wasn’t possible to get a authentic view of the ‚Floating Piers‘ if I just made the film records on the riverside or on the swimming path. But how come could I show the beauty and fascination in my film? After some minutes deeply reflecting about this question , the answer was pretty clear for me: I had to go on water also and had to make my film records from a ship! Because the most special thing about this artwork of Christo was the harmony of art and water. To make this thoughts realty I first went on a public ship which started from Pisogne and lead to Monte Isola. But it wasn’t very successful because the ship was plenty of people and I could’t find any space to make beautiful shots. When I was walking on Monte Isola, I had the same problem, accomplished with an incredible heat, which was a real challenge for setting the right light. I knew if it was going on like that, I would never succeed in realizing a beautiful film and a little bit disappointed I returned to Pisogne. I thought now you have tried from above, from the swimming path, from the path on the isle and from the public ship - what else remains? Considering like this I had another solution: a private boat. But at the same time this idea was kind of utopian because I wasn’t able to pay anybody and I also didn’t speak italian fluently last year. But to give up because of this? No way. This would have been stupid and I preferred to continue to find a private port, where the private boats are. When I finally found one, I couldn’t enter because it was closed. Because I also haven’t seen anybody, I decided to sit on a bank and there I waited. One hour later an old man arrived and I succeed in explaining him what I wanted to do. He was very nice but he had to admit that he didn’t knew people he could ask, because everybody was on holidays. This was the moment when my courage diminished a bit and I thought I had to return to Germany without having had succeed in anything. But then the nice man said, if I wanted to I could wait there and drink a coffee with him and maybe I will be lucky and someone appears who would take me with his boat. I didn’t have to wait for long. Two guys, just a few years older than me, arrived - obviously ready for a boat trip. „Ask them“, my new, friendly friend recommended. I did it and at the same time I thought that my profession really confronts me with unique situations. The two boys were called Beppe and Massimo and the boat was Beppe’s. Both of them suddenly affirmed that I could go with them and they said two friends of them will also arrive soon. I was really lucky and without them I couldn’t have had realized my film. The two girls were called Anna-Paola and Frederica and were as open and friendly as the boys. Even I didn’t speak italian fluently last year, I could explain everything I wanted to make and we had an amazing trip, passing around the ‚Floating Piers‘. They helped me to fix the ‚Go Pro‘, so I also had another perspective. They drove very close along to the swimming path and around the island. So it was possible to realize my film like I wanted to: like a unique experience filmed from the boat, because also today I am convinced that the most authentic approach in which you could recognize all its beauty and size, was the one from the boat. I didn’t want to create artifical scenes like they were made usually in films. I preferred to capture the realty on the boat and it was like you can see today in my film: four (or five together with me) youngsters, enjoying from water the maybe last artwork of Christo. I know that my film has its weaknesses concerning the changing colors from the Go Pro and my other telecamera or the light movement of the water, but at last it was a heart project for me because I succeed in combining three beautiful things: I realized my first project in my favorite country - Italy. I had the opportunity to not only see, but also capture a beautiful memory from the artist I always admired most - Christo. And I felt so comfortable with four nice italians who haven’t knew me at all before and were not just ready without doubting to take a stranger with them, but also a stranger with a film camera. With them I didn’t just make the records, I also enjoyed a lot the boat trip with swimming sessions, beautiful music and a lot of funny moments. Thank you so much! Everything wouldn’t have been possible without your help.

Youtube video here:

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