OrtaWater - Purification station
Materials: Row Boat, drinking water purification system, steel structure, water tanks, jerry cans, canteens, diverse objects, pipes, CD player, amplifier, speakers, Orta Water bottles
Dimensions: 804 x 345 x 540cm
Catalogued: pp 55-54, Antarctica - Lucy + Jorge Orta, Electa ISBN 978-88-370-6087-9; pp 98-99, Lucy + Jorge Orta Food Water Life, Princeton Architecture Press, NY. ISBN 978-1-56898-991-4
Exhibition history: 2005 Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Courtesy: Private collection Bologna, Italy
Originally co-commissioned by Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa for the 51st Venice Biennale and the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen Rotterdam (2005-2006) the body of work OrtaWater focuses on the general scarcity of water and issues surrounding the privatization and corporate control effecting access to clean water. Starting from a rigorous analysis of this crucial resource through visual and textual research and collaborative workshops with engineers, Lucy + Jorge Orta sketch poetic artefacts, sculptures, large-scale installations and public artworks that evoke the cycle of gathering, purifying and distributing water.
One angle of their research visualises low-cost water purification devices enabling filthy water to be pumped and filtered directly from local sources. Waters that have been purified and distrubuted include the Venice's Canal Grande, the Emmersingel in Rotterdam (2005) the Hang Pu River in Shanghai (2012), and the Canal de l'Orcq in Paris (2014).
For the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Dutch canal water was pumped throughout the historical museum galleries into a large filtration device installed inside a huge boat, decked with numerous water objects. Visitors could simply turn on the taps integrated into the sculpture, and take a drink.