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.
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
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.
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?
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
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.
10 June 2018
Studio Orta is pleased to present the new Historic England commission to commemorate the 100-years of the Suffragette movement, and in memory of 1,000 suffragettes that were imprisoned at Holloway women’s prison during their struggle to obtain the vote.
HMP Holloway in London was one of the most notorious sites associated with the Suffrage movement. It closed in 2016 and women were moved to HMP Downview. Since January 2018, Lucy Orta collaborated with them to design and create a series of stunning textile banners for the centenary Processions in London on June 10, 2018.
The design for the HMP Downview banners draws from historical perspectives on the suffragette campaign, hand-crafts and responsive workshops to collect testimonies, considering what it means to be a woman today, the power of the vote and our shared future. Volunteer students from London College of Fashion assisted the process: See blog The hand-embellished panels were assembled in Making for Change, an education training facility at HMP Downview established by the Ministry of Justice and LCF to equip prisoners with employability certifications before the end of their sentence.
Produced by Artichoke as part of 14-18 NOW, Processions marks the centenary of the women’s right to vote, in a living, moving portrait of women in the 21st century. Press contact Flint PR.
Folly | National Trust
27 April 2018 - 04 November 2018
Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal, North Yorkshire, UK
Studio Orta is proud to announce a new public sculpture, the “Gazing Ball”, commissioned for Folly! 2018 Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden, a World Heritage Site and one of the National Trust’s most prestigious and well visited locations.
For Folly! 2018, Lucy + Jorge Orta have re-imagined one of the former architectural follies, located by the Banqueting House where the Rotunda, a classical Ionic temple once stood. Their contemporary interpretation of the eighteenth-century folly draws from their body of work Totipotent Architecture, to bring new potential and function to lost architecture.
The artists have purposely broken with the traditional neo-classical hexagonal form to create a sculpture in ‘oppositional tension’, a feature of the Studley landscape design. They have imagined a pentagonal structure with a trompe l’oeil colonnade; the classic dome roof has been replaced by a rotating-axis tower onto which a gazing ball delicately balances.
This huge mirror sphere is designed to reflect and distort the surrounding water gardens, whilst the geometrical shaped windows act as framing devices from which visitors are offered multiple perspectives over the Moon pond, to a surprise view of the gothic Octagon Tower. The "Gazing Ball" is meant to remind us of the playful and multi-functional purpose of follies and propose new interpretations of the landscape.
For enquiries please contact Folly!
Women House | Washington DC
09 March 2018 - 28 May 2018
Group exhibition curated by Camille Morineau and Lucia Pesapane
National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington DC, USA
Women House, opening at National Museum of Women in the Arts, bridges two notions: a genre - the female - and a space - the domestic one. This major exhibition brings together the works of 39 international female artists from the 20th and 21st centuries and is divided into eight chapters that reflect the complexity of the possible view points on the subject, both feminist and poetic, political or nostalgic.
In this context, Lucy Orta presents the work Body Architecture - Collective Wear 4 persons. Following on from the Refuge Wear series (1992-1998), Orta began working on collective portable structures, shifting the emphasis on the isolated individual towards the notion of living in community, where the modular dome or tent sculptures combine the principles of solidarity and where the physical connections woven between individuals inhabiting these spaces symbolize the innumerable bonds that can be forged emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually.
Women House travels from La Monnaie de Paris, Paris, October 20, 2017 - January 28, 2018.