Diversity United | 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, from 11am to 3pm, and in London in front of Tate Britain and Chelsea College of Arts Parade Ground, as part of the Carnival of Crisis / Parade for Climate Justice on November 10, from 1 to 3pm.
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 (Senior Vice President, Corporate Citizenship, Schneider Electric), moderated by Alice Audouin (Founder Art of Change 21).
Supported by Art of Change 21 with Schneider Electric Foundation. With special thanks to the Reid Gallery Glasgow School of Art and UAL Climate Emergency Network.
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.
Procession Banners | De la Warr Pavilion
09 February 2019 - 27 May 2019
De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea, UK
Group exhibition curated by Irene Aristizábal (Nottingham Contemporary), Rosie Cooper (De La Warr Pavilion), Cédric Fauq (Nottingham Contemporary)
Procession Banners will be touring from the Ikon Gallery to De La Warr Pavilion for a major group exhibition exploring the history of resistance and alternative forms of living from the perspective of gender: Still I Rise: Feminisms, Gender, Resistance, Act 2, from 9 February to 27 May, 2019.
This exhibition explores the many forms resistance can take: from intimate acts to large-scale uprisings, from the late 19th century to the present and beyond. Grounded in intersectional and queer feminist perspectives, it takes place within a global context, referring to recent women-led uprisings and demonstrations, as well as historic moments, including the centenary anniversary of the UK women’s right to vote. The award-winning* "Procession Banners" Lucy Orta created together with women from HMP Downview, commissioned by Historic England to commemorate the suffragettes imprisoned in Holloway prison, bring the voices of female prisoners into the debate.
In January 2018, Lucy Orta began collaborating with a group of female residents as part of London College of Fashion’s Better Lives outreach community work. She collected the women’s testimonies and ran workshops with the help of LCF student volunteers to design and create banners that brilliantly express what it means to be a woman today. The banners were paraded in the suffragette centenary Procession in London (10 June 2018), with the participation of over 30,000 women. Watch the video here.
*Participants each received a Gold Koestler Award, August 2018.
Migration Week | Marrakech
05 December 2018 - 11 December 2018
Commissioned by the curatrial research project DISPLACEMENT: Uncertain Journeys, Studio Orta is pleased to announce the fifth edition of Antarctica World Passport to be distributed during Migration Week Marrakech (December 5-11, 2018).
The Migration Week brings together representatives from UN member states, international organisations and civil society organisations for two official events, the 11th Global Forum on Migration and Development Summit (GFMD) and the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Conference to Adopt the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM). For these major global policy-making meetings, Lucy + Jorge Orta have proposed a special edition of Antarctica World Passport, to be distributed to delegates and invited guests, alongside an engagement activity to amplify the Platform on Disaster Displacement messages, with the aim to build greater support for improved protection and assistance for the millions of people displaced around the world each year due to the impacts of disasters and climate change. Join the campaign here!
DISPLACEMENT was initiated in 2014 by the late Professor Chris Wainwright at the University of the Arts London in collaboration with the Nansen Initiative, and is now led by UAL doctoral candidate, Hannah Entwisle Chapuisat. Its curatorial mission is to bring art research and practice to bear on international policy making addressing displacement related to disasters and climate change.
Procession Banners | IKON
23 October 2018 - 20 January 2019
Ikon off-site at Medicine Bakery and Gallery
A selection of the award-winning* Procession Banners Lucy Orta created together with female residents from HMP Downview will be displayed for the first time at the Ikon Gallery’s offsite Medicine Bakery and Gallery from 23 October 2018 to 20 January 2019.
In January 2018, Lucy Orta began collaborating with a group of female residents as part of London College of Fashion’s Making For Change fashion training and manufacturing unit, based at HMP Downview. Commissioned by Historic England, the women, assisted by students from LCF, designed 30 banners to mark 100 years since British women won the vote. In 2016, women were transferred to HMP Downview after the closure of HMP Holloway, then the largest all women prison in Europe, and the notorious site where over 1,000 suffragettes had been imprisoned during their struggle for the vote. Through workshops Lucy Orta collected testimonies considering what it means to be a woman today, the power of the vote and our shared future. The banners they created were paraded in the centenary Processions march in cities across the UK on 10 June 2018.
During November 2018, Lucy Orta is artist-in-residence for Ikon’s 2018 Looping the Loop programme. During her residency, Lucy Orta and MotherShip Projects join together with local communities to create a processional banner based on personal experiences. On Saturday 17 November, to mark the centenary of women’s suffrage, Lucy Orta, MotherShip and students from Birmingham City University lead a procession through the streets of Birmingham headed by the finished banner.
*Participants each received a Gold Koestler Award August 2018.
Peewit | The Netherlands
01 September 2018
Sloten, The Netherlands
We are happy to announce Peewit a new public sculpture for the European Capital of Culture Leeuwarden-Fryslân 2018. The work is permanently installed in the Dutch town of Sloten as part of the 11Fountains, a major contemporary art commission curated by Anna Tilroe.
11Fountains is inspired by the most legendary of all Dutch traditions, the so-called ‘Eleven Cities Tour’, a 200-kilometre ice-skating race through Friesland’s landscape and eleven beautiful historic cities. Eleven contemporary fountains have been commissioned by eleven renowned international artists to build a bridge between the complex, global world of today and the history of a place and its population.
Lucy + Jorge Orta’s “Peewit” fountain comprises of a haphazard stack of buckets, jerry cans and water tubs and basins, implements you come across anywhere in the world. They refer to something that we in our society possess in abundance but that cannot be taken for granted in other parts of the world: water! Water is the source of all life. The water pours into and over the containers in a continuous stream, as if it were never going to dry up. Two children have climbed up the teetering tower to free the peewit from an old Frisian tradition: the gathering of peewit eggs in the spring. For the peewit has become an endangered species due to the rapid growth of intensive agricultural and cattle breeding technology. The bird is carrying a golden key in its beak, the symbol of the city of Sloten and its closely-knit community.
The 11Fountains artists include Allora & Calzadilla, Stephan Balkenhol, Johan Creten, Mark Dion and Cornelia Parker, for further information contact 11Fountains.