Guangming Daily, Rome, July 23, Marseille, Guangming Daily correspondent in Rome
Three white balloons hung a Renaissance-style cardboard bridge, quietly suspended over the Tiber River, leaving a beautiful and peculiar figure. This kind of dreamlike scene was presented in the Italian capital Rome for several days, which attracted passers-by to stop and watch.
The idea of this day’s journey came from the French artist Olivier Grosset, who is known for using recyclable cardboard to create participatory giant installation works of art. He has previously succeeded in Avignon, Moscow, Amboise and other places. Similar works have been exhibited. The design of the paper suspension bridge is inspired by the Farnese Bridge project hosted by the Italian Renaissance master Michelangelo. The bridge was originally planned to connect the Farnese Palace, where the French Embassy is located today, and Farne on the opposite bank of the Tiber. The garden of Villa Sina, but due to Michelangelo’s death and lack of funds, was not completed in the end, only an arch was built on the river bank.
The picture shows the “bridge across the age” designed by Grossett.Photo courtesy of Marseille
The paper suspension bridge designed by Grossett this time is called “the bridge across the era”. It is 18 meters long and is made of recycled cardboard. There are two full arches and two half arches, consisting of three 6 meters in diameter, A giant balloon filled with helium was hung into the air. The location is the same as the original site of the original bridge. It is located between the Tiber Bridge and the Mazzini Bridge, next to the Farnese Arch. Although much smaller than Michelangelo’s original design, the emergence of the paper suspension bridge has realized Michelangelo’s dream hundreds of years ago in another unexpected way. “A poetic project”, the Italian media commented.
With the support of the French Embassy in Italy and the French Academy of Italy, Grosset turned the construction of the paper suspension bridge into a collective art action by the people. Under the professional guidance of the art team, hundreds of volunteers of all ages, especially young people from Italy and France, actively participated in the four-day construction process. Grossett explained, “This is a collective work. We build together and dismantle together. My project is meaningful in both the final result and the realization process. It always depends on everyone’s participation, just like a common dream”.
The artist hopes to build this bridge to pay tribute to the history of Rome, the genius of Michelangelo and the friendship between Italy and France. On the evening of July 13th, local time, under the witness of Rome Mayor Raj, Lazio Vice President Leodori and French Ambassador to Italy Masset, the launch ceremony of the project was held. Masset called it a “visual feast” and believed that “this is an excellent opportunity for the people to directly participate in cultural projects, and it is also a tribute to the city and its history.” Raj said that “this bridge is a symbol of our friendly relations with France” and “its image will definitely be remembered by us.”
Although the project has been demolished after several days of display due to weather and other reasons, the news and pictures about the paper hanging bridge in the past few days have remained hot on various local media and social networks, and are a hot topic that people talk about.
The rapid popularity of the paper suspension bridge naturally has its reasons. As an urban installation art, it pays more attention to the interaction with the public, communication and integration with the environment than traditional works of art. It has a strong visual impact and physical expression. The earth satisfies the audience’s sense of experience and participation. Excellent installation art works are like brilliant “business cards”, which can not only beautify the urban space and shorten the distance between the people and art, but also promote cultural exchanges between various countries and regions. The reporter randomly interviewed several local people who watched the paper suspension bridge at the scene. They all said that during the epidemic, they rarely had the opportunity to go to the museum to see exhibitions. The idea of building a paper suspension bridge is simply great! It reproduces the classics in a novel and modern way, allowing people to remember Italy, France, and the glorious era.
“Guangming Daily” (July 24, 2021, version 10)