Interrelations | Amilly
Les Tanneries - Contemporary art center, Amilly, France
For Interrelations, a major solo exhibition at Les Tanneries, Lucy + Jorge Orta extend through the presentation of a series experimental gestures their most recent work, which is emblematic of their collaborative practice since 1991. Three installations –matrix sets– have been created in situ expressing feelings of urgency and hope, destruction and reconstruction, observation and reflection, realism and optimism.
Fragments of History is articulated around a Saviem military truck from the Mobile Intervention Unit Convoy, here, fifty paintings evoke the action-paintings made by Jorge Orta during the dictatorial Argentina throughout the 1970s. Immersion and derrame partially smear the figurative elements of the paintings' abstract essence and hence become sensitive and fragmentary metaphors of a vacillating world.
Life Line reactivates the artists' interest in the increasing fragility of human populations by associating a military ambulance with a large deployment of customised camp beds. These new Life Guards are designed as genuine individual refuges, echoing the Refuge Wear of Lucy Orta in the 1990s. While questioning the fragility and precariousness of the body and of human nature, the artist also underlines resilience and outbursts of solidarity.
Constituting the link both natural and symbolic between man and his environment, research on water cycles carried out by Lucy + Jorge Orta within the meta series OrtaWater are represented here through the Zille Purification Unit, a river “machine-architecture”, installed above the tanning vats of the original tannery. The work recalls the essential aspect of water in industrial activities and underlines its major role in the processes of population displacement. Lucy + Jorge Orta highlight the issues and challenges linked to the scarcity of drinking water while outlining the potential premises for a concrete solution.
With Interrelations, the artist duo therefore offer a synthesis of their research through which the collective and collaborative dynamics of their work are highlighted, whether from a societal perspective or at the level of inception within the studio. Critical global issues be these climatic, migratory or geopolitical, incite Lucy + Jorge Orta to develop and explore a form of “total art”. They apply contextual, modular and operational practices and they are constantly on the move responding to a changing society. The artists question the potential and the limits of their ingenuity and adaptability, between concrete solutions and experimental utopias.