Life Guard [Acqua]
Materials: Stretcher bed, wooden mannequin, diverse textiles, webbing, rope, inflatable ring, life ring, various objects, ceramic resin hands and feet
Dimensions: 250w x approx 290 x 188h cm
Exhibition history: 2019 Museo Salvatore Ferragamo, Museo Novencento, Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, Italy
Courtesy: Lucy + Jorge Orta
Life Guard [Acqua] links back to the artists’ ongoing series OrtaWater (2005). Their preoccupation with water focuses on its general scarcity and issues surrounding the privatization and corporate control effecting access to clean water. Starting from a rigorous analysis, through visual and textual research, and collaborative workshops with numerous specialists to elaborate on the topics, the artists have created a significant body of work, which includes, drawings, objects, sculptures and public artworks that evoke the interwoven cycles of gathering, purifying and distributing water. The safeguard of this vital resource is evocative in the Life Guard figure who is dragging numerous recipients and objects associated with water. As in many of the Life Guard works, there is an interesting ambiguity between the functional and symbolic aspects of the sculpture, we are not sure if the figure has survived or is in the process of saving.