Laundry of Sorrows 1982 - 2008

Studio Orta - 0.1982_per
Studio Orta - 0.1982_per
Studio Orta - 0.1982_per

Date: 1982 - 2008
Materials: Filmed performance-concert with washing machines
Dimensions: Duration 10'06''
Exhibition history: 2015 The Banff Center, Canada; 2008 Galleria Continua Les Moulins, France
Courtesy: Lucy + Jorge Orta

The war over the Islas Malvinas was a direct result of the dictatorship’s decadent and weakened Argentina. The disappearance of thousands of citizens during 1976-1983, was further augmented due to the irresponsible acts of the military commander Galtieri. Seeking to distract the Argentine population from his failing rule, he claimed by military force the return of the island to Argentina. As the General Belgrano warship sank, so too did the entire country with it.

History repeats itself. Millions of people, refugees, are struggling along the routes of exile climbing over walls, borders and across the oceans to flee drought, famine, political, ethnic, or religious conflicts. So many humanitarian and ecological disasters and an infinite number of personal lives are waiting to clean and re-cleanse their realities, in the hope of a new future. The stories, which are hard to bear are washed, washed again, again and again, until they finally discolour, like a purification of the past that reveals a new identity.

Jorge Orta conceptualised the performance Laundry of Sorrows in 1982, as a reaction to the terror imposed on Argentinian people during the political regime of the military junta (1976-1983). Due to the political circumstances and extreme conditions of practising as an artist, it was not possible to realise at the time. Landry of Sorrows was staged and filmed in 2008 at the Galleria Continua Les Moulins, France.