OrtaWater - Urban Life Guard
Materials: Inflatable life ring, various, OrtaWater objects, aluminium coated polyamide, PU coated polyamide, clips, webbing, silkscreen print
Dimensions: 180 x 270 x 290cm
Catalogued: p90 Lucy + Jorge Orta Pattern Book, Black Dog Publishing, 2007
Exhibition history: 2005 Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa Venice, Italy
Courtesy: E. Righi Collection, Italy
Life Guard OrtaWater forms part of the ongoing series OrtaWater, which Lucy + Jorge Orta have been developing since 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.