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.
PROCESSIONS 1918-2018 | London
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.
70 x 7 The Meal, Act XLI | Singapore
27 January 2018
NTU Center for Contemporary Art
Studio Orta is pleased to announce their second 70 x 7 The Meal in Singapore with the NTU CCA, taking place on Saturday 27 January, under the helm of The Current Convening #3, in collaboration with TBA21-Academy.
The 41st act of the ongoing series - Act XLI - Who owns the Oceans? is an open-air discursive brunch, which draws from the tradition of communal eating to create a platform that explores questions relating to the ocean, such as the entitlements of resources, its waters, food security, as well as ownership of oceanic practices, materials, and images. For this participatory event, Lucy + Jorge Orta have created a table setting relating to these topical discussions. During the brunch, the guests will continue to examine the questions raised during Convening #3’s sessions taking place at the NTU CCA from 25-28 January. This ocean themed meal is developed in collaboration with restaurateur Ken Loon of Singapore’s The Naked Finn, who has locally sourced the ingredients, each of which will be explained and related back to the wider conversation of Singapore’s food sources, its specific environment, and infrastructure.
Solo Show | Untitled Miami
06 December 2017 - 10 December 2017
Jane Lombard Gallery - Booth A2
Miami Beach, USA
Presented in Miami, are different emblematic works by the artists including: OrtaWater, Antarctica and Totipotent Architecture, poetic and operational aesthetic strategies that address systemic functionality: climate change, diminishing resources and forced migration.
These works come together in the physical and conceptual realization of their latest series of large-scale assemblage paintings, Derrame. At the core of the abstract gesture define by these works is an accidental moment that produces distinctive pigments and organic forms; accident is treated as an uncontrolled phenomenon; an event that mirrors the destructive force of natural disasters bolstered by human disregard and the chaos of sociopolitical cataclysms. These underlying fluid compositions find originate in Jorge Orta’s Derrame paintings, begun while living in Rosario, Argentina (1972-1984) during la Guerra Sucia. The Spanish word ‘derrame’ is used in a variety of ways: a leak (escape, loss), cerebral attack (stroke), a spill (waste), and an outpouring (effusion). In this period of state terrorism and censorship, painting became a political act of revolt and an emotional act of frustration.
Gestural paintings, sculptures and performance layered with functionality, design and political engagement compose a new field of reflection, creating lines and symmetries that structure and attempt to control the underlying chaos –derrame– while opening up new horizons. The objects frame and focus the overflow, an irrepressible continuum that hopes to catalyze a cycle of renewal and possibility.
Frieze Projects | Antarctica
04 October 2017 - 08 October 2017
Frieze London, Regent’s Park
We are happy to annouce the participation in Frieze Projects London with Antarctica World Passport Delivery Bureau, a brand new ‘convoy’ installation composed of customised ex-army trailers, curated by Raphael Gygax.
For a number of years, Lucy + Jorge Orta have been exploring the transformation of surplus military equipment, ‘weapons of war’, into ‘tools for peace’, to infuse them with new meaning. On the mobile passport office, commissioned specifically for Frieze Projects, we find references to the human body in the form of mini-bivouacs, various expedition objects and a bureau from which the passport officers will distribute the Antarctica World Passport. A limited edition of 5,000 passports will be available during Frieze Week from October 4-8. For each passport distributed, the Antarctica World Passport holder is invited to join the no-borders community, which now counts over 19,000 online citizens.
Following their expedition to the Antarctic in 2007, the Antarctica project was launched in 2008, during their survey exhibition at the Hangar Bicocca Milan, curated by Bartolomeo Pietromarchi. Alongside the Antarctic Village, the artists lay down the foundations for the Antarctica World Passport community. 50,000 copies of the passport have been printed to date —the Frieze Projects passport will be the fourth edition.
For Lucy + Jorge Orta, Antarctica’s immaculate ice landscape is a metaphor, a filter for the kaleidoscope that make up our nations and identities, concentrating all the colours into the sum of light and the purity of a hope.
Raven Row | London
04 June 2017
First commissioned by La Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain in Paris (1996), Modular Architecture is comprised of four large textile-sculptures – the Dome, the Unit, the Igloo and the Cabin. The iridescent membranes of these elementary architectural structures are adorned with demi-bodies depicted by fragments of clothing: hoods, sleeves, trousers and gloves that can be manipulated and assembled in different configurations, investigating notions of personal and collective space. Over the course of the durational performance at Raven Row, performers exploring the Modular Unit will attempt to dissolve the boundaries between body and architecture.
The performance is choreographed by Nandi Bhebhe and artist Phoebe Davies, with Zinzi Minott, Daniel Brathwaite-Shirley, Sarah Kent, Hamish MacPherson and Darcy Wallace.
Modular Architecture is a special-event programmed in the context of the group exhibition 56 Artillery Lane from 21 April - 11 June 2017, which also includes three iconic Refuge Wear works from Lucy + Jorge Orta’s archive.
For further information: Raven Row.
Raft of the Medusa | Hull
29 March 2017 - 17 June 2017
Humber Street Gallery Hull, United Kingdom
As part of Hull UK City of Culture 2017, the exhibition Somewhere Becoming Sea at Humber Street Gallery from 5 April to 17 June 2017, takes a closer look at the ever-changing boundaries between land and sea, exploring Hull’s long-standing prominence as a gateway to the North Sea and beyond. It reflects how expanses of water that divide countries are also channels that connect them. At a time when climate change threatens to blur boundaries further and bring far-reaching economic impact, the exhibition captures the sea’s elemental power and asks: is everywhere now Somewhere Becoming Sea?
In this context, Lucy + Jorge Orta are pleased to present a new installation of the Raft of the Medusa, which takes its historical reference point from the romantic depiction of the shipwreck Le Radeau de la Méduse by Théodore Géricault (1818-1819, Musée du Louvre, Paris). For the artists, the make-shift raft constructed by the crew of the Medusa from wood salvaged from their sinking vessel recounts more than the treacherous voyage of the doomed sailors on board. It is a powerful symbol of the fateful journeys of slaves and migrants throughout history and even more so today, as we play witness to the perilous journeys of the thousands of refugees navigating the oceans in search of a safe haven.
Building on the filmed-performances staged at Yorkshire Sculpture Park in 2013, and Les Moulins in 2015, Raft of the Medusa at the Humber Street Gallery will become the site of a set of performative sequences that explore the gestures of fragility, helplessness and hope, and which concludes the cycle for the artists’ forthcoming film.
SOLO SHOW | GALERIE VALERIE BACH | BRUSSELS
17 March 2017 - 29 April 2017
Galerie Valérie Bach, Brussels, Belgium
In this exhibition, two series of works are brought together for the first time, uniting three-dimensional works with paintings in order to shed light on their creative process.
The first section of the exhibition is based on cell —cell of life, cell of habitation— at the core of their thinking. Inspired by cell biology and the process of differentiation, the Totipotent Architecture series is composed of hand-blown glass volumes, which like embryo cells, expand to create new spaces of habitation within the steel architectural silhouettes. The artists go a step further in their exploration of the cellular infinity with the vitrines Cells diptych, creating a new macroscopic life in intricate Murano blown-glass.
The second part of the exhibition, based on Jorge's pictorial work in the 1970s, when painting was one of his ways of escaping the overwhelming Argentina dictatorship. The exhibited works in the Derrame series, explore the idea of the accident as both a violent moment but also as a random, uncontrolled phenomenon. A three-dimensional aspect of this accidental expression appears in their brand-new series Assemblages where found objects superimposed on the pictorial surface seem placed there by the necessity of ordering the immaterial in a chorus between abstraction and reality.
70 x 7 The Meal | Singapore
20 January 2017
NTU Center for Contemporary Art, Singapore
Under the helm of Cities for People, Ideas Fest organised by the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art, act 40 of Lucy + Jorge Orta’s ongoing participative artwork 70 x 7 The Meal, draws from the ancestral ritual of dining together, to create a platform for local communities to engage in discussions that explore and connect food initiatives in the local community.
Leading up to the meal, the artists staged a collaborative workshop with Foodscape Collective Singapore to delve into and examine the concerns about food sustainability in the local and global contexts. Interactive discussions sessions with local chefs, bakers, farmers, gardeners, policy makers, activists and artists generated a range of playful and provocative topics on food production, distribution; identity & culture; and giving & sharing, to exchange with the guests attending the meal.
On arrival at the NTU CCA, guests will be assigned a navigation map that leads to 25 ‘islands of knowledge’, in a unique setting designed by the artists to prompt and perpetuate further art-food-sustainability discussions. The menu, prepared by Chef Misso Russell Keith from Open Farm Community, will continue the 70 x 7 ethos of locally sourcing sustainable produce.
Food | Peterborough
10 September 2016 - 04 December 2016
City Gallery and Museum, Peterborough, England
The husband-and-wife artist team Lucy + Jorge Orta—who in the past 25 years have explored social and ecological issues—focus on consumer food waste and global food distribution in a major show at the City Gallery and Museum in Peterborough. The exhibition examines the couple’s initiatives linked to the “politics of food”, encompassing the rituals associated with eating together. The Art Newspaper
Two new sculptures form the centre pieces to the show. Bread inspired by 70 x 7 The Meal, which took place in Peterborough Cathedral Square in 2015 and during which hundreds of loaves of bread were baked by local residents and then cast into aluminium. Carried aloft by the traditional wheelbarrows, the humble objects cross cultures and centuries reminding us of the ancestral cycles of sowing, reaping and milling, the hand-sculpting of wood and dough to create unique manifestations of our basic human needs.
Drawing from the artists’ expedition to the Peruvian Amazon in 2009, the installation Seeds is composed of 31 unique larger-than-life Murano glass seed pods framed by a collection of intricate watercolour drawings that make up a metaphorical Seed Bank. The intricate beauty and diversity of our natural world is prevalent in the artists’ act of 'preserving' varieties that may be threatened with extinction.
The exhibition also draws together archival work from All in One Basket (1996) and HortiRecycling Enterprise (1999), alongside the entire collection of limited edition Royal Limoges porcelain from the 70 x 7 The Meal series presented on the bespoke silk-jacquard table runners, woven by local Suffolk weavers.
An extensive program of engagement activities around the politics of food, accompanies the exhibition and can be booked through Metal Peterborough.
Spirits | Emscherkunst Triennial | Germany
04 June 2016 - 18 September 2016
Emscher Valley, Ruhr, Germany
For the third edition of the Emscherkunst Triennial (June 4 - September 18, 2016), Lucy + Jorge Orta launch a major new commission: Spirits of the Emscher Valley. The Triennial spans a 50-Km trail along the river Emscher, criss-crossing natural parklands and post-industrial landscapes, dialoguing with the changing environment in the Ruhr area.
For the occasion, Lucy + Jorge Orta have installed three "Spirits" at strategic locations to reveal meaningful interpretations regarding the history of the former coal and steel industries. Since 2012, the artists’ "Spirits" interweave between the medium of performance and figurative sculpture, working as metaphors of the locations in which they are performed or installed, and aim to capture the "soul" of the place. The participative approach – at the heart of the artists work – is essential in the process of the sculptural "personification". For Emscherkunst, Lucy + Jorge Orta worked together closely with residents from the Ruhr area, people who have special connections to the locations, prompting story-telling about their communities.
Installed on the shore of the Phoenix lake at Dortmund-Hörde, Totem with Magpie evokes a new generation who will grow up within this industrial metamorphosis while Bird woman is symbolically linking the East and West side of Phoenix formerly joined by a viaduct. At Kokerei Hansa in Dortmund-Huckarde, a coke plant which closed in the '9Os, the Observer, like an oracle, testifies to the transformation of the landscape: Nature is invading and taking possession of the relics of past.
Symphony for Absent Wildlife | Leicester
30 January 2016 - 24 April 2016
Attenborough Arts Centre, Leicester, UK
The new Attenborough Arts Centre in Leicester inaugurates with a solo exhibition of the work of Lucy + Jorge Orta, from January 30 to April 24, 2016. The work on show draws a number of intersecting links between the scarcity of resources, species loss, climate change and migration.
The centre piece to the exhibition is Symphony for Absent Wildlife, first commissioned by the Nuit Blanche Calgary in Canada, has been newly adapted to the gallery setting, to create an immersive audio installation experience. The audience encounters an orchestra of masked creatures sculpted from felt blankets, blowing tiny hand-sculpted bird whistles they grasp within their fragile ceramic hands. The musician’s bird song builds up to a dawn chorus with an abrupt censure, leaving the audience with a sentiment of loss.
Unfolding in further galleries are sculpture from the series Life Line, Life Guard and Amazonia that weave a visual narrative, tackling issues of survival, and although many of the works were conceived over ten years ago, they are even more timely in view of recent events.
Objects, vitrines and drawings derived from the artists 2009 expedition to the Peruvian Amazon, recount an oasis of diversity in a state of crisis. At the same time, they restore our focus to the world around us, the beauty of the millions of species both locally and globally that depend on the Amazon for their survival, and to the natural cycles of life and death.
Please join us for the opening in Leicester on January 29, from 6 to 9pm.