Novacène | Lille
14 May 2022 - 02 October 2022
Gare Saint Sauveur, Lille, France
As part of the season Utopia, two sculptures by Lucy + Jorge Orta occupy the group exhibition 'Novacene' at the Gare Saint Sauveur, Lille. The theory of Novacene elaborated by scientist James Lovelock, supersedes the Anthropocene, as a new epoch where humans and artificial intelligence work in tandem to save the earth from destruction. The curators Jean-Max Colard and Alice Audoin, have selected the artists' machine-sculpture Zille Purification Unit capable of purifying water and the new Life Guard 'Fuoco' where the hybridisation of man and animal produces a new benevolent being.
Join the artists for the opening on Saturday May 14th at 3pm.
Prendre la Tangente | Paris
25 February 2022 - 23 July 2022
MAIF Social Club, Paris, France
The exhibition Prendre la Tangente at MAIF Social Club is imagined as a great choreographed crossing at the heart of new imaginaries linked to travel. In this context, Lucy + Jorge Orta presents a new version of Antarctica World Passport Office, a component of the long-term research project Antarctica exploring topics relating to the environment, politics, autonomy, habitat, mobility and relationships among peoples. For the artists, Antarctica represents Utopia: a continent whose extreme climate imposes mutual aid and solidarity. The immaculate ice landscape is a filter for the kaleidoscope that make up our nations and multi-ethnic identities, concentrating the colours, races and creeds into the sum of light, and a vision of Hope.
Passport offices are constructed with reclaimed wood and found objects including boats, water recipients, suitcases, toys, that tower and bulge over rudimentary structures synonymous with the shanty town and border crossings that artists have traversed in some of remotest corners of the planet. From the passport office are delivered printed editions of the Antarctica World Passport, now totaling 72,000 copies. The passport office at the Maif Social Club was presented at the Pirelli Hangar Bicocca in Milan, Italy for the artists’ survey exhibition in 2008. Since, iterations have been created for museum exhibitions and United Nation forums on climate change and migration.
The MAIF Social Club have commissioned the 7th edition of the passport. For further details about the passport editions and registration process click here.
For a Contextual Art | Brussels
16 January 2022 - 26 February 2022
Frédérick Mouraux Gallery, Brussels, Belgium
For a Contextual Art is the first solo exhibition of Lucy + Jorge Orta in the Frédérick Mouraux Gallery, Brussels. The work on show provides insight into concepts that act as keystones of their collaborative practice.
The turbulent social and political landscape during the Argentine military regime from 1972-1984, marked Jorge’s formative years of practice. As well as exploring the new visual languages of performance, video-art, mail-art and tactile poetry, a new genre of painting served as a medium to counteract mounting injustices and to affirm a Latin American identity.
Divided into two, the first part of the exhibition presents four different series of coded paintings that evolved out of this particular context, Geometría Contextual 1972, Trazado De Indias and Triangular AAA both 1973, and Derrame from 1997. The second part includes editioned works –vitrines, tactile poems, reliquaries– that further the artists’ preoccupation with widening access to and reaching new audiences, through poetic objects that can be used on a daily basis.
Libero Spazio Libero⎟Bologna
15 January 2022 - 15 May 2022
Fondazione Del Monte, Bologna, Italy
Refuge Wear, conceived by Lucy Orta in response to the socio-economic crisis of the 1990s finds its resonance in this group exhibition Libero Spazio Libero curated by Fabiola Naldi. The work reveals the ephemeral nature of our being with respect to society and suggests we are simply an occupant within society and can easily be removed or alienated at will. The exhibition explores the disputed idea of free space where memory, identity, relationship with time, and space of one’s own experience transcend the idea of a dwelling in favor of an idea, of a capacity to go beyond the social conventional scheme. The crossing, as well as the ability to adapt and the possibility of overturning visual, cultural, and ideological structures, is intended as a paraphrase of the imaginative ability of the artworks by Claire Fontaine, Claudia Losi, Giulia Niccolai, Lucy + Jorge Orta, and Martha Rosler.
Diversity United | Berlin Moscow
23 November 2021 - 13 March 2022
New Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia
Contemporary Art from Europe
Diversity United is a major group show, which showcases the vitality and diversity of contemporary European art and emphasises the importance of intercultural dialogue. Featuring 90 European artists working across the genres of painting, sculpture, video and new media, photography, installation and drawing, the exhibition seeks to portray historically significant and relevant topics, including political and personal identity, migration, gender and equality issues, nationality and territory, geopolitics and social conflicts.
Lucy + Jorge Orta present Antarctic Village and Antarctica World Passport. The question this work poses today concerns our responsibilities as citizens, to protect the values of peace and equality; faced with the menacing forces of climate change we should strive to reduce our impact, to be united to tackle this greatest threat to humanity and our earth, and to curb the devastating effects will have on world stability. As the likelihood of mass-migrations it set to increase in the wake of climate related disasters, how do we assure the safeguard and dignity of victims is upheld? Climate Change has No Borders!
Diversity United is curated by Walter Smerling (Chairman Foundation for Art and Culture, Bonn) and Zelfira Tregulova (General Director Tretyakov Gallery) together with a consortium of international curators. For further information download the bi-lingual catalogue.
02 November 2021 - 10 November 2021
COP26 Glasgow and London, UK
To impart the aesthetic and symbolic power of collective action in the face of the climate emergency. A new activation of Nexus Architecture by Lucy + Jorge Orta will take place during COP26 with the participation of emerging artists and designers from Glasgow School of Art and University of the Arts London.
Drawing from this social sculpture first initiated in 1993, Studio Orta have produced 50 blank-canvas Nexus Architecture to be customised in simultaneous workshops, creating an interconnected chain of solidarity from Glasgow to London. Nexus Architecture is a potent manifestation of the philosophy behind Studio Orta’s practice, through its multiple manifestations across the globe. From South Africa, to the Americas and Asia, it recognises the interdependence between people forming a momentary network of being –a collective body– whose connections are rendered visible and visceral in time and space.
The customisation workshops will lead to performative manifestos in Glasgow's Reid Gallery on November 5, and in London in front of Tate Britain and Chelsea College of Arts, for the Parade for Climate Justice on November 10.
On November 5 from 5:30-6:30pm, Lucy Orta will be speaking at the French Pavilion, UN Climate Change Conference Scottish Event Campus, Blue Zone. The convening is organised by Art of Change 21 and includes speakers, Cédric Carles (Co-founder of Atelier 21, Paleo-Energetic and Solar Sound System), John Gerrard (artist), Gilles Vermot Desroches (Schneider Electric), moderated by Alice Audouin (Founder Art of Change 21).
Masking | Brussels
05 March 2021 - 08 May 2021
La Patinoire Royale | Galerie Valérie Bach, Brussels, Belgium
In the exhibition Masking presented at La Patinoire Royale|Galerie Valérie Bach until May 8, Lucy Orta brings to life the mask drawings started in response to the confinement due to COVID-19.
The drawing was an antidote, a way to overcome the anxiety caused by the pandemic. For many years, Lucy has archived images of masks from a wide spectrum of cultures and rituals. Taking advantage of this intense period of questioning and closer observation of the characteristics, she began by extracting the striking features to recompose drawings of new masks with infinite variations. These hybrid objects connect us across continents and cultures, rooted in ancient rituals and belief systems.
Thanks to the invitation of Studio Berengo, Lucy was able to give shape to her drawings in the glass furnaces of Murano. Using the medium of glass to express the duality of transparency and opacity, two densities that underline the concept of masking. Concealing and revealing at the same time, expressing an inner identity, a mask as a metaphor for the transformation of material reality into spiritual essence.
Download the exhibition catalogue here.
Interrelations | Amilly
10 October 2020 - 30 May 2021
Les Tanneries - Contemporary art center, Amilly, France
Interrelations is the title of this major solo exhibition of the work of Lucy + Jorge Orta at Les Tanneries centre for contemporary art which has been extended until May 30, 2021. The artists present their most recent work through a series of experimental gestures, which are emblematic of their collaborative practice since 1991. Created in situ, three large-scale installations –matrix sets– express feelings of urgency and hope, destruction and reconstruction, observation and reflection, realism and optimism.
The first, Fragments of History is articulated around an up-turned Saviem military lorry. Strewn aroud the truck are around fifty canvases of different sizes that evoke the action-paintings made by Jorge Orta during the dictatorial Argentina throughout the 1970s. Immersion and derrame techniques partially smear the figurative elements of their 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 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.
Green Currents | Paris
15 September 2020 - 31 January 2021
Fondation Groupe EDF, Paris, France
Green Currents curated by Paul Ardenne for the Fondation Groupe EDF unites an international roster of artists engaged in the ecological combat. Works presented explore the process of adaptation that humanity is currently undergoing and remind us of the essential role that art has to play in the climate transition, through its potential to ignite our imagination. Lucy + Jorge Orta present their latest work Symphony for Absent Wildlife, a film that draws together four performances staged in Banff National Park and the cities of Calgary, Milan and London, since 2014.
The film weaves a story of loss through the history of the point-blanket, an exchange commodity between First Nations peoples and the early European trappers and traders. The felt blanket was woven in the North of England and traded for beaver pelts in Canada, the resulting Capote gradually replaced the indigenous identity to install the notion of ‘democratic’ dress. Felt is also the material used for the orchestra’s costumes and masks designed by Lucy Orta. The masks are shaped to depict birds and animals connected with the spirit belief system of the indigenous peoples in Canada. These creatures –bison, wolves, eagles– hunted to near extinction, were once abundant across the Albertan plains. In the film, the quadrophonic symphony is played on simple wooden bird-whistles and recounts the cycle of disappearance, as the dawn-chorus closes with a heart-wrenching silence.
Unbreakable | Venice
05 September 2020 - 07 January 2021
Fondazione Berengo Art Space, Murano, Italy
In the exhibition Unbreakable: Women in Glass Lucy Orta brings life to mask drawings she began in response to lockdown, in March 2020.
Drawing was an antidote, a way to overcome the anxiety sparked by the Covid-19 pandemic. Lucy had been archiving images of masks from a diverse range of cultures for several years and she used this intense period of questioning to reflect on ways to embrace the mask in a more positive way. Observing their characteristics more closely, she began by extracting the defining features from the original source, to recompose drawings of new masks with infinite variations. Hybrid objects that connect us across continents and cultures, rooted in ancient rituals and spirit belief systems.
Thanks to an invitation by Berengo Studio, Lucy was able to give form to the drawings, working with the Maestros in the Murano glass furnace. Using the medium of glass to express the duality of transparency and opacity, two densities that emphasize the concept of masking. To conceal and reveal at the same time, to express an inner identity, a mask as a metaphor of transformation of material reality into spiritual essence.
Mariner | UK tour
23 January 2020 - 21 March 2020
The Edge & Andrew Brownsword Gallery, Bath, UK
Lucy + Jorge Orta present a new immersive audio-visual installation of Raft of Medusa for the exhibition Mariner: a painted ship upon a painted ocean, a contemporary response to Coleridge's famous poem: The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. The Mariner tours from The Arts Institute, Plymouth and opens January 23, at The Edge.
The Mariner explores universal themes, from the desire to travel, the role of intuition and imagination, making mistakes and the process of recovery and redemption. It can also be understood as an ecological story, where knowledge, scientific understanding and tolerance offer a beacon of hope for our shared future. Inspired by the romantic depiction of the shipwreck Le Radeau de la Méduse (Théodore Géricault 1818-1819), Orta's Raft of the Medusa is a symbol of man’s fragility, helplessness and hope. Evoking the fateful journeys of slaves and migrants throughout history. View the film here.
THE HOODIE | Rotterdam
30 November 2019 - 28 June 2020
Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Drawing from Studio Orta’s archive, the Het Nieuwe Instituut have selected a series of large-format photographs of Lucy Orta’s Refuge Wear interventions from the early 1990’s to dialogue with a collection of objects and clothes that consider the role of the ‘hoodie’, as a carrier of socio-political messages. More info here.
THE POSTHUMAN CITY | Singapore
23 November 2019 - 15 March 2020
NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore, Singapore
As part of their ongoing collaboration with the NTU CCA, Lucy + Jorge Orta present works from their OrtaWater series, to further explore the possibilities of coexistence and sharing of resources. Water from a local river source will be purified and distributed through a network of pipes linked to the artists’ work, transforming the sculptures into pedagogic tools. More info here.
Tree Time | Turin
29 October 2019 - 23 February 2020
Museo Nazionale Della Montagna, Turin, Italy
During Artissima Turin, Lucy + Jorge Orta’s film Disappearance, a duet for chainsaw and piano, will be projected for the first time in an installation specifically conceived for Tree Time, an exhibition addressing the theme of the tree faced with current environmental issues. View the film here.
Gaia, What are you Becoming? | Paris
18 October 2019 - 08 November 2019
Maison Guerlain, Paris, France
As part of the FIAC Private Itinerary, head to the Maison Guerlain for the thematic group exhibition in homage to Gaia. On view is one of the artists’ emblematic sculptures from the Antarctica project, No Borders Drop Parachute. More info here.
HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN | Ithaca, NY
07 September 2019 - 08 December 2019
Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Ithaca, NY, USA
How the light gets in, curated by Andrea Inselmann, presents contemporary artworks in many mediums that look at the movement of people across the globe and the welcome cracks that develop in our notions of borders and nation states. The Antarctica Flag, raised for the first time in the Antarctic during the artists’ 2007 expedition, embodies utopia, a symbol of a larger common identity, a supranational emblem of human rights.
Pouvoir & Pouvoir | Galleria Continua
23 June 2019 - 22 September 2019
Galleria Continua, Les Moulins, France
Studio Orta is pleased to announce the participation of Lucy + Jorge Orta in the exhibition Pouvoir & Pouvoir at Galleria Continua Les Moulins (June 23 to September 22, 2019). In this collective exhibition, some twenty international artists evoke the links between Art and Power. Lucy + Jorge Orta propose two forms of power struggles, across two locations.
In Moulin de Boissy: The paintings Parcelas Dominantes, Triangular AAA and Gama refer to the political situation in Argentina from 1972-1983. The unfair distribution of land, which led to social uprisings violently repressed by dictatorial power with the creation of a death squadron, the Triple A. These works, in their abstract and geometric appearance, hide a system of color codes invented by Jorge Orta. This code, where each color represents a historical, geographical, political or social situation, allows him to speak-out and continue to create despite the repression.
In Moulin Sainte-Marie: Procession Banners (2018-2019) is a collaborative work commemorating the centenary of the Suffragette movement and the memory of the thousands of women who were imprisoned during their fight for the right to vote. Lucy Orta worked with women inmates over a six-month period to design and create a series of embroidered textiles banners for a historic march that mobilised over 90 000 women (June 10, 2018). The banners are touring from the Ikon Gallery and the De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill, UK.
Eldorama | Lille
27 April 2019 - 01 September 2019
Tripostal, Lille, France
Group exhibition curated by Jérôme Sans and Jean-Max Colard, with Isabelle Bernini
Studio Orta is pleased to announce Lucy + Jorge Orta’s participation in Eldorama, at the Tripostal in Lille, from April 27 to September 1, 2019. Displayed in three chapters — Dreamed Worlds, The Rush and The New Eldorados — the exhibition traces the universal adventure of ‘eldorados’ that encourage peoples to migrate and move in search of new opportunities.
Lucy + Jorge Orta present their most recent productions, four large-format assemblage paintings, bringing together the abstract and gestural language of painting with metaphorical objects (window frames, life buoys, clouds) that are part of the iconic visual vocabulary of the artists. These powerful assemblages compose a new field of reflection and can be seen as optimistic windows opened onto new worlds, having fled from chaos, exile, displacement, and the chance of rescue.
Life Guards | Florence
11 April 2019 - 04 July 2019
Palazzo Vecchio, Museo Salvatore Ferragamo, Museo Novecento, Florence
Solo exhibition parcours
For the occasion of the Sustainable Thinking exhibition presented by Museo Salvatore Ferragamo, Lucy + Jorge Orta have created a parcours across the city of Florence, starting at the historic Palazzo Vecchio, followed by the Museo Salvatore Ferragamo, to the Museo Novecento.
Life Guards are inspired by the four basic founding elements within the allegorical frescoes of the Palazzo's Sala degli Elementi –aira, acqua, fuoco, terra– and conveyed through the posture of a human figure. Following in the footsteps of the mythological gods and divinities depicted in the frescoes, the artists' life guards are surrounded by an array of symbolic and functional objects that evoke the increasing fragility of these vital resources due to factors such as exploitation and climate change and convey the need to develop more sustainable ways of using, protecting and conserving these resources in the future.
Join the artists for the openings in Florence on April 11: Palazzo Vecchio 16:00, Museo Salvatore Ferragamo 17:00, Museo Novecento 18:00. For further information and RSVP.
Potential Architecture | New York
04 April 2019 - 11 May 2019
Jane Lombard Gallery, New York
Studio Orta is pleased to announce Lucy + Jorge Orta's solo show Potential Architecture at Jane Lombard Gallery New York from 4 April to 11 May, 2019. Featuring work from their most recent series Derrame, as well as Totipotent Architecture and Cells, the exhibition includes paintings, sculptures, and works on paper.
As an international duo, Lucy + Jorge Orta’s symbiotic practice examines social and ecological issues across the globe, this exhibition analyzes how architectures of the human body and physical space interact with internal and external structures. Potential Architecture unites the Orta’s multidisciplinary investigation into micro and macro structures. They pursue a line of inquiry that presses society to constantly re-consider our understanding and challenge the ways in which constraints can be pushed, reformed, and drawn upon.