OrtaWater-Fluvial Intervention Unit, 2005
Antarctic Passport Bureau, 2008
Installation view, Tufts University Art Gallery, 2012
OrtaWater—Mobile Intervention Unit, 2005
Mexican Kitchen, 1997-2008
HortiRecycling Enterprise, act II—Conservation Unit, 1997-2005
No Borders, Métisse Flag, 2007
August 16 – December 6, 2014
Sculptures, drawings, installations and videos by French wife-husband duo, Lucy+Jorge Orta
The sculptures, drawings, installations and videos by this French wife-husband duo, Lucy+Jorge Orta, collectively explore major concerns that define the 21st century: biodiversity, environmental conditions, climate change and exchange among cultures. These models and machines constructed by the Ortas, suggest ways to purify, prepare and transport food and water, or launch a world-wide humanitarian effort. These humorous, jerrybuilt contraptions are poetic metaphors for these processes, and demonstrate the importance of art as a creative agent for awareness and change. This show is the first major traveling exhibition in the U.S. of the Ortas' work, and Ben Maltz Gallery its only West Coast venue.
British-born Lucy and Argentine-born Jorge, both with individual art practices, have been working in partnership since 2005 as Lucy + Jorge Orta, creating, producing, and assembling their artworks and large installations together with a team of artists, designers, architects, and craftsmen. They stage on-location workshops, ephemeral interventions, residencies and master classes which explore the crucial themes of the contemporary world: the community, autonomy, dwelling, migration, sustainable development, and recycling.
Food - Water - Life / Lucy + Jorge Orta is organized by Tufts University Art Gallery, Medford, MA, and it is curated by Ginger Gregg Duggan and Judith Hoos Fox (c2 | curatorsquared). The exhibition at Ben Maltz Gallery was funded in part by the OTIS Board of Governors.
About the Exhibition
Food - Water - Life / Lucy + Jorge Orta
Organized by the Tufts University Art Gallery, Medford, MA; curated by Ginger Gregg Duggan and Judith Hoos Fox (c2|curatorsquared)
Ben Maltz Gallery is the only West Coast venue of this U.S. premiere of the Orta’s work. Lucy + Jorge Orta are on campus October 20-25 for a week-long residency working with Otis students and giving lectures. The residency week culminates with a public conversation between the artists and the curators, followed by a reception, on Saturday, October 25, 3pm-6pm.
The sculptures, drawings, installations and video by this Paris-based wife and husband duo Lucy + Jorge Orta collectively explore major concerns that define the 21st century: biodiversity, environmental conditions, climate change and exchange among peoples. As heirs to the practice of social sculpture, formulated by Joseph Beuys in the 1960s, the Ortas’ works are relics of their own function—beguiling assemblages that are the platform for the preparation of food, mechanisms that actually purify water, and elements created for a 2007 expedition to Antarctica that are part of an effort to amend the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The works in this exhibition are metaphors-in-action, constructions that perform the tasks of which they are emblematic.
These humorous, jerrybuilt contraptions are obviously not the most efficient means to purify, prepare and transport food and water, or to launch a world-wide humanitarian effort, but in their ability to actually function, albeit, awkwardly and haltingly, they gain power as works of art created to move us to awareness and action. The artists have created a unique visual language through which they tackle the major global issues affecting our lives and the precarious position of this planet. As the Orta’s artwork communicates widely to audiences beyond the field of contemporary art, it demonstrates the importance of art as a creative agent for awareness and change: their work embodies the philosophy that steers their pioneering art practice, “the ethics of aesthetics.”
Working in partnership since 2005, Lucy + Jorge Orta create, produce, and assemble their artworks and large installations together with a team of artists, designers, architects, and craftspeople. They stage on-location workshops, ephemeral interventions, residencies, and master classes, which explore the crucial themes of the contemporary world: the community, autonomy, dwelling, migration, sustainable development, and recycling. Their work has been the focus of important survey exhibitions in major museums, including: the Barbican Art Gallery, London; Modern Art Museum, Paris; Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam; Hangar Bicocca, Milan; as well as the Venice, Havana, and Johannesburg Biennales.
Food Service: Setting the Table | Ellen Lupton
Life Science: OrtaWater | Zoe Ryan
Subject = Object: Antarctic Village - No Borders | Judith Hoos Fox and Ginger Gregg Duggan
Food-Water-Life / Lucy + Jorge Orta | | 61 pages | Princeton Architectural Press
Food-Water-Life | https://opac.otis.edu/lib/item?id=chamo:285388&theme=otis
Lucy Orta | https://opac.otis.edu/lib/item?id=chamo:50869&theme=otis
Studio Orta - some of the books viewable in full as pdfs
Fabulae Romanae, Lucy + Jorge Orta, 2012
Amazonia, Lucy + Jorge Orta, 2010
Lucy Orta, short filmportrait
TED talk by Lucy Orta
L'art et la manière / Lucy + Jorge Orta
In French, but gives tour inside the working of the Orta Studio