Beyond Agnes Denes (tribute to)
Project by Carlo Scoccianti | Interventions

With this artwork, a new wetland dedicated to migratory birds was created over fields that were intensively cultivated until the day before.


This choice provided the opportunity for a comparison with the work carried out more than 30 years earlier by Agnes Denes (Wheatfield – a Confrontation, 1982), to whom this intervention is dedicated. The theme of the discussion is the current value of the soil, particularly in situations such as these where human activity has severely impoverished the ecological-landscape quality and functionality. The title Beyond Agnes Denes was chosen to emphasise the progress made in recent years with public recognition of the concept of common heritage concerning natural environments and landscapes.


While Agnes Denes highlighted the land’s importance for the production of food and the risk of its deterioration if it is carelessly used as a dumping ground, with this artwork there is a further evolution in the concept of land and territory as precious common assets, in this case even going as far as to eliminate the land’s agricultural function. The natural landscape is therefore today recognised as a primary necessity for our society.


Migratory birds arrived at the site just a few days after the area’s first flooding. The presence of these species is clear evidence of the natural “globalisation” that has always characterised and linked our landscapes with other landscapes, even those situated far away. It also confirms the importance of such choices in relation to a correct vision of an area’s resources, as well as the “global” role that many areas can play if they are left to manifest their natural characteristics.      






Carlo Scoccianti 


Area of intervention

Protected area of the WWF Oasis Stagni di Focognano, Campi Bisenzio (Florence).
The intervention made it possible to expand the protected area by several hectares.
The area is located within the Site of Community Importance (SCI), Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and Special Protection Area (SPA) of the Stagni della Piana Fiorentina e Pratese (Natura 2000 code IT5140011).


Status before intervention

Arable fields cultivated with intensive farming methods, with the presence of some illegally built shacks on the sides. 


Type of intervention

New seasonal wetland of approximately 4.5 hectares constructed with mechanical equipment.
Its creation involved moving 12,000 cubic metres of earth with the use of excavators (about 300 hours of work) and trucks (about 250 hours of work). Subsequently, approximately 30,000 cubic metres of water were used for the first flooding.
The work was completed with the planting of several autochthonous aquatic and riparian species thanks to the work of dozens of volunteers (social art intervention).


Work status

Completed (April 2013).


Authorities/agencies involved

- Committee for the WWF Oases of the Florence area

- Municipality of Campi Bisenzio

- Consorzio di Bonifica Area Fiorentina


Main bioindicators used to monitor the ecological functionality of the work-site

- Waders: stopover during migration, nesting.

- Ducks: stopover during migration, nesting.