‘bref alignement’ by bastian marzoli 

 

Last year, on May 2nd, 2021, Swiss artist and architect Bastian Marzoli organized a unique performance called ‘Bref Alignement’. It took place on Lake Geneva, where more than 280 boats carefully lined up to materialize the invisible administrative Franco-Swiss border located in the center of the alpine waters. From St-Gingolph to Geneva, one boat stood every 200 meters to cover a 59km-long line. 

exactly one year ago a 59km line was drawn on the waters of lake geneva 1
view from the Grammont mountain (FR), Lausanne in the background 
image © Julien Dagnaux 

 

 

materializing and reflecting on the franco-swiss border 

 

With ‘Bref Alignement’, Marzoli (see more here) successfully magnified the theoretical dimension of the border. ‘The inhabitants of the Lake Geneva basin were able to question the role of the lake as a separator, but above all as a common landscape and sensory heritage, challenged by administrative rules that do not correspond to the reality of a space serving daily as a link between the two coasts,’ he shares. 

exactly one year ago a 59km line was drawn on the waters of lake geneva 2
aerial view, taken on the eastern end between Nyon (CH) and Yvoire (FR) 

image © Mathis Pochat

 

 

a collective, 20-minute  performance 

 

During the 2020 pandemic, the border closed down for the first time since WW2, an event that resonated strongly with the performance. The fact that both Swiss and French sailors were at the time not allowed to spend the night anchored ‘abroad’ transformed their meeting on the line into a joyful reunion after months apart. The boats were coming from 70+ different ports, all coordinated by the artist. The event had to be greenlit by six separate administrative entities situated in both countries (France & Switzerland).

exactly one year ago a 59km line was drawn on the waters of lake geneva 3
view from la Tour de Gourze (CH), France in the background

image © Steve Maibach

 

 

Against all odds, when public events were canceled weekly, ‘Bref Alignement’ was the first international event to take place on the lake since the pandemic. ‘The brief 20-minute performance resulted from a three-month-long process, which could not have been successful without the time and enthusiasm of all implied sailors, who offered a unique moment to viewers all around the lake,’ comments the artist. 

exactly one year ago a 59km line was drawn on the waters of lake geneva 4
view from Chardonne’s viewpoint, French alps in the background
image © Lucas Balet / @10.psd

exactly one year ago a 59km line was drawn on the waters of lake geneva 5
wide shot of the performance as seen from the Signal-de-Bougy viewpoint (CH)
image © Michael Maccabez

exactly one year ago a 59km line was drawn on the waters of lake geneva 6
preliminary scenarios considering 4 different attendance rate.

image © Bastian Marzoli 

exactly one year ago a 59km line was drawn on the waters of lake geneva 7
performance protocol, from the ports to the artificial line 

image © Bastian Marzoli 

 

 

 

project info:

 

name: Bref Alignement

location: Lake Geneva
performance: Bastian Marzoli

 

designboom has received this project from our DIY submissions feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: lea zeitoun | designboom