Madre de Dios - Fluvial Intervention Unit

Studio Orta - 5513_nhm_dsc7568.jpg
Studio Orta - 5513_nhm_dsc7570.jpg
Studio Orta - 5513_nhm_dsc7571.jpg
Studio Orta - 5513_nhm_dsc7572.jpg
Studio Orta - 5513_nhm_dsc7573.jpg
Studio Orta - 5513_nhm_dsc7582.jpg

Date: 2010
Ref: 5513
Materials: Dug out pirogue, mirror, lacquered glass, steel frame, reconditioned wood, life rings, toy animals
Dimensions: 160h x 150l x 550 cm
Exhibition history: 2012 Chateau de Chamarande, France; 2010 Natural History Museum London, UK
Courtesy: Lucy + Jorge Orta

Hundreds of tiny animals are kept afloat on the long pirogue, a boat from Indonesia carved a single tree trunk. It is a floating support for the rescue of the creatures here, which are reflected into infinity by the mirrored surfaces evoking the millions of years of evolution on Earth. The sculpture also references the famous biblical salvation of the species by Noah in his boat during the great flood, a foreboding warning of the current loss of biodiversity due to factors such as climate change and deforestation.
Madre de Dios, meaning mother of God, is an Andean tributary that feeds into the Amazon River. The artists navigated a 350-kilometre stretch of Amazon forest over several days. It was during the long hours spent observing the banks of the rainforest that the artists began imagining the artworks in the series Amazonia.