Studio Orta - FOOD WATER LIFE - West Coast, USA


25 October 2014 - 06 December 2014
Ben Maltz Gallery – Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, Solo exhibition, lectures and public conversation

The Ben Maltz Gallery in Los Angeles presents Food Water Life Lucy + Jorge Orta's first major exhibition on the West Coast (August 16–December 6, 2014). The artists will be in the Los Angeles gallery to sign their book, which accompanies the exhibition, on Saturday October 25, 3-6pm.

The exhibition presents three bodies of work that span close to two decades of their collaborative work. Through sculptures, drawings, video and installations the artists explore major concerns that define the twenty-first century: biodiversity, environmental sustainability and climate change.

As heirs to the practice of social sculpture, formulated by the German artist and activist Joseph Beuys in the 1960s, the Orta’s works are relics of their own function—captivating assemblages such as the Mexican Kitchen, and the Fluvial Intervention Units are respectively, a platform for the preparation of food and mechanisms to purify water. Other sculptures, including the diptych video projection Antarctica were created for a 2007 expedition to the Antarctic that forms part of an effort to amend the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The featured works are metaphors-in-action, constructions that perform the tasks of which they are emblematic.

This exhibition, curated by curatorsquared and organized by Tufts University Art Gallery, Medford, MA, tours to the Richard E. Peeler Art Center, DePauw University, USA (February 5–May 7, 2015) and the London Museum, Ontario, Canada (August 29–December 6, 2015)

Key dates to meet the artists and the curators.

Tuesday October 21, 11:15am Public lecture Otis College of Art & Design, 9045 Lincoln Boulevard, LA 90045
Thursday October 23, 10am Public lecture Otis Graduate Studios, 10455 Jefferson Blvd, Culver City 90230. Map

In conversation with curators Ginger Gregg Duggan and Judith Hoos Fox, followed by a book signing and reception
Saturday October 25, 3-6pm Ben Malz Gallery, 10455 Jefferson Blvd, Culver City 90230. Map



11 October 2014 - 11 January 2015
Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Group exhibition

What will Fashion look like in the Future? Taking a critical view of the current fashion system and showing more than fifty innovative artworks at the cutting edge of art and fashion, the exhibition The Future of Fashion is Now proposes a unique vision of the future.

For this visionary exhibition held at the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam from October 11 until January 11 2015, Lucy + Jorge Orta exhibit two flagship artworks that question codes of dress, and provide original interpretations of the cultural and sociological role of clothing.

As an emblem of Orta’s practice Nexus Type Opera.tion – from the Nexus Architecture body of work – emphasizes the notions of the social link or community bond. The work consists of groups of workers-overalls, inter-connected via a system of channels and zippers. The connecting elements of the installation are direct embodiments of the idea of social link a social sculpture, exhibited both within the museum setting or performed within the public sphere.

The short film Wandering, realized during a three-year long study of Roma gypsy communities across Europe, focuses on a dancer’s immense circular skirt that is aroused by the movements of traditional eastern-European gypsy melodies. Through the dynamic and poetical rhythms that blur the bellowing patterned motifs of the silk, Wandering evokes a shared aesthetic without barriers of time and space, deeply rooted in Roma communities.

Opening on October 11 from 1.00 pm to 5.00 pm

Studio Orta - Nuit Blanche | Symphony for Absent Wildlife

Nuit Blanche | Symphony for Absent Wildlife

20 September 2014
Olympic & Municipal Plaza, Calgary, Live audio performance

For Calgary Nuit Blanche 2014, Lucy + Jorge Orta have been invited to create a majestic outdoor installation and performance in the Olympic Plaza. The artists have imagined a living monument for the late-night Canadian public art festival. Under the title Symphony for Absent Wildlife [Spirits of Alberta] the artists have created a true ode to wildlife, taking the form of a visual and audio installation, and which culminates in a major film in 2015.

In Symphony for Absent Wildlife, the stretcher-bed - an occurring metaphoric object in Orta’s practice - marks a pathway to woodland clearing, composed of weathered tree trunks sourced from local forests, an essential zone for the maintenance of forestry biodiversity. The path is raised above the ground by the means of simple wooden trestles, the kind constructed for chopping wood. In the clearing, we encounter a masked orchestra of Spirits.
Each musician dons a mask, in the form of a creature, and an iconic tailcoat tailored from reclaimed felt blankets, which bears the inscriptions of past warriors and homeless wanderers. These foreboding masked figures represent the spirits of the once abundant wildlife across the Albertan plains: bison, moose, wapiti, wolves, grizzly bears, and eagles.

On the evening of September 20 2014, the music stands illuminate a graphic score, the conductor guides the masked-animal musicians, and the performance commences. An amplified symphony of avian chatter - birdsong - resonates across the city. Man or beast?  Just simple hand crafted bird whistles that replicate the remarkable sounds of nature.

Symphony for Absent Wildlife brings a fragment of the disappearing natural environment, its sounds and the diversity of its fauna, closer to the city.

Nuit Blanche live performances from 7pm to 1am Map 
The Banff Centre, February 2015

Studio Orta - Le Havre Ville Monde

Le Havre Ville Monde

12 September 2014 - 08 November 2014
Le Havre, Le Portique and Tetris centres for contemporary art, Public installation, two solo exhbitions

Le Havre Ville Monde proposes an excursion across the city of Le Havre through the prisim of major public installation, and two exhbitions by Lucy + Jorge Orta. The Antarctica Flag marks an eyecatching avenue to the contemporary art centres of Tetris and Portique. This visual and symbolic presentation has been commissioned by the Positive Economy Forum 2014, which brings together leaders in the field of social and positive economy.

A monumental one-hundred Antarctica Flags adorn the facade of the City Hall, the Ocean Docks, the peak of Oscar Niemeyer's famous ‘Volcano’ and culminate at the Antarctica World Passport Bureau installed at the entrance of Portique, where vistors are issued with their Antarctica World Passport.

Also at Portique is an exclusive showing of works under the heading Rosario 1973-1984. This body of work, from the archives of Studio Orta includes, Tactile Poems, a Gama Mural, and a performance Chainsaw Concert, created by Jorge Orta in Argentina, during the dictatorial period. A rare opportunity to see work on display for the first time.

At Tetris, on view are the Spirits of Huveaune, minature sculptures and photographies surrounding the creation of five sculptures now installed permanently along the Huveaune valley, Marseille. The exhibition serves as a long-term platform to initiate the project Les Enfants du Havre, to be developed through collaborative workshops with local residents. 

Finally, for the 300 delegates gathered at the Positive Economy Forum, Lucy + Jorge Orta give a new instance to their ongoing work 70 x 7 The Meal. A dinner conceived as an installation, includes a Royal Limoges dinner service created for the occasion in collaboration with one of the last porcelain manufacturers in Europe.

Contact press : Victoire Birembaux

Important dates

  • Le Portique: Private view 12 Sept., 6.30pm. Performance Concert de Tronçonneuses 7.00pm. Exhibition 12 Sept. to 08 Nov. 2014
  • Le Tétris: Private view 13 Sept., 6.30pm. Exhibition 13 Sept. to 04 Oct. 2014
  • Le Havre: Private view 23 Sept., 6.30pm at Pasino Le Havre-Partouche
  • LHFORUM / Positive Economy Forum 2014: From 23 to 26 Sept. 2014
Studio Orta - LENS ON LIFE


10 July 2014 - 28 August 2014
Federica Schiavo Gallery and MAXXI Museo delle Arti del XXI Secolo, Rome, Group exhibition & Symposium

We are pleased to announce the exhibition of Lucy + Jorge Orta’s new glass sculptures Cells, at the Federica Schiavo Gallery in Rome, created as a result of an ongoing dialogue with emminent mitosis scientist Tony Hyman.

Tony Hyman works on the molecular mechanism of conserved cytoskeletal processes in the Hyman Lab at the Max Plank Institute of Mollecular biology, he is also part of MitoSys (systems biology of mitosis), a FP7 European scientific research project. Hyman has been in dialogue with Lucy + Jorge Orta since 2013, discussing the transformations of the immensely complex structures of human cells. Reflecting on cellular communication growth, and working together with the glass masters at Berengo Studio in Murano, the artists represent the different stages of mitosis and meiosis. When the process of chromosome division goes wrong, it reeks havoc and leads to incredible, wild and complex three-dimensional structures.

Lucy + Jorge Ortas’ Cells Diptych will be display in Lens on Life, a fascinating exhibition curated by Professor Marina Wallace, which maps a number of dialogues between artists and scientists who portray, each in their own unique way, the fundamental mechanisms of human life – mitosis. The exhibition in Rome is the first of a series of three. Lens On Life will travel to the Lethaby Gallery, Central Saint Martins in London (29 January to 29 February 2015), and Heidelberg University Museum (16 March to 28 April 2015).

An important part of the exhibition is the documentary Meetings of Minds, witnessing the various stages of the collaboration between the artists and scientists.

A symposium will be held at the MAXXI Museo delle Arti del XXI Secolo on the 10 July, followed by the screening of Meetings of Minds.

Studio Orta - Book Release: Food / Water / Life

Book Release: Food / Water / Life

01 June 2014 - 21 September 2015
Parc de la Villette, Paul Delouvrier contemporary art pavilion and park grounds , Book release and exhibition

Hot off the press! Actes Sud has published Lucy + Jorge Orta: Food / Water / Life, a new monograph exploring some of the most salient themes in the artists’ work. The publication features contributions from several of France’s foremost thinkers on art and the environment: Catherine Larrère, Paul Ardenne, and Christophe Rioux. It also includes an in-depth interview with the artists and images of their recent work, commissioned for the exhibition at Parc de la Villette.

Food / Water / Life accompanies Lucy + Jorge Orta’s eponymous solo exhibition on view from May 21 – September 21, 2014. The show highlights seminal archival works and newly commissioned sculptures, poetic explorations that interrogate our daily habits of eating, drinking, and living. Visitors are invited to stroll the park’s expansive grounds to discover the artists’ diverse artworks, including a new series of Spirits inspired from children who frequent La Villette; an OrtaWater Purification Station purifying water from the Canal de l'Ourcq; and an Antarctica World Passport Bureau, where passers-by can receive a new edition of the Antarctica World Passport and become members of the growing Antarctica World Community. 

Food / Water / Life is available online and in bookstores around the world.

Studio Orta - Solo Exhibition at Parc de la Villette, Paris

Solo Exhibition at Parc de la Villette, Paris

21 May 2014 - 21 September 2014
Parc de la Villette, Paul Delouvrier contemporary art pavilion and park grounds , Solo exhibition

Parc de la Villette in Paris inaugurates Lucy + Jorge Orta’s solo exhibition Food Water Life, an inspiring mixture of seminal archival works and newly commissioned sculptures spanning the Paul-Delouvrier contemporary art pavilion and park grounds.

This exhibition builds on Lucy + Jorge Orta’s examination of contemporary issues through poetic explorations that interrogate our daily habits of eating, drinking, and living. Visitors will be invited to stroll the park’s expansive grounds to discover the artists’ diverse artworks, including a new series of Spirits inspired by children who frequent La Villette; an OrtaWater Purification Station that will pump water from the Canal de l'Ourcq, through the park, and into the gallery to be purified; and an Antarctica World Passport Bureau, where passers-by can sign up to receive a new edition of the Antarctica World Passport and become members of the growing Antarctica World Community. 

FOOD WATER LIFE takes us on a journey toward imagining, sharing, and ultimately rendering possible a more just society.

Vernissage May 20, 2014 at 18h30
In the presence of the artists

Metro/bus/tram: Porte de Pantin Map


Studio Orta - Food Water Life | Johnson Museum of Art

Food Water Life | Johnson Museum of Art

25 January 2014 - 08 June 2014
Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Solo exhibition

On January 25, the Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University inaugurates the next chapter of Lucy + Jorge Orta’s exhibition Food Water Life. The show presents three projects that span close to two decades of collaborative work. Through sculpture, drawing, installation, and video the artists explore concerns that define the twenty-first century: biodiversity, environmental sustainability, climate change, and social economy.

As heirs to the practice of social sculpture, formulated by the German artist and activist Joseph Beuys in the 1960s, the Orta’s works are relics of their own function—captivating assemblages such as the Processing Units and the Purification Factory are, respectively, a platform for the preparation of food and a mechanism to purify water. Other elements, created for a 2007 expedition to Antarctica, form part of an effort to amend the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The featured works are metaphors-in-action, constructions that perform the tasks of which they are emblematic.

This exhibition, which is curated by curatorsquared, originated at Tufts University Gallery and tours to the Ben Maltz Gallery, Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles (August 16 – December 7 2014) and the Richard E. Peeler Art Center, DePauw University, Greencastle (February 5 – May 7, 2015). 

Studio Orta - Spirits of the Huveaune | Aux Commandes ! Les Nouveaux Commanditaires ou comment faire société avec l'art

Spirits of the Huveaune | Aux Commandes ! Les Nouveaux Commanditaires ou comment faire société avec l'art

30 November 2013 - 26 January 2014
Château de Tours, Group exhibition

Aux Commandes ! is an exhibition featuring eight recent commissions by the Fondation de France initiative Nouveaux Commanditaires (New Patrons). In the last twenty years New Patrons has enabled the production of more than 400 works across Europe. The emblematic artworks selected for this exhibition at Châteu de Tours reveal the ways in which citizens and artists can engage in territorial development to define their living and work spaces. The exhibition captures the diversity of political issues to which our society responds, the range of artwork commissions seeking to address them, and the pertinence of these artistic proposals to effect change.

Lucy + Jorge Orta present a miniature version of Spirits of the Huveaune, a scale replica of the five permanent figurative sculptures that were installed over a two-year period along the Huveaune valley and inaugurated for Marseille Cultural Capital 2013. Known locally as the Chemin des Fées, the five Spirit sculptures map the presence of the Huveaune, a coastal river in eastern Provence that originates in the massif of Sainte Baume and flows into the Mediterranean Sea at Marseille.

The five Spirits of the Huveaune: Spirit of the source – Marie, Martellières, Saint-Zacharie Spirit of the bridge – Ubelka, Moulin Saint-Claude, Auriol Spirit of the river banks – Manon, Îlot des Berges Park, Aubagne Spirit of the old mill – Gyptis, Parc du vieux Moulin Spirit of the lake – Ophelia, Parc Borély

Spirits of the Huveaune was commissioned by the association Rives & Cultures and mediated by the Bureau des Compétences et Désirs, Sylvie Amar and Anastassia Makridou-Bretonneau.

Studio Orta - Book launch: Potential Architecture

Book launch: Potential Architecture

09 October 2013 - 01 December 2013
TheGallery, University Arts Bournemouth, Book launch and exhibition

On October 17 Arts University Bournemouth launches the new book Lucy + Jorge Orta: Potential Architecture. This monograph delves into Lucy + Jorge Orta’s recent architectural endeavors that derive from their fascination with cell biology and the process of cell differentiation. It traces the fruit of the artists’ research on new organic and modular architecture as a result of their collaboration with the Greenham partnership and other communities across Europe. Through drawings and sculpture, the artists conceptualize the communication process the human cell undertakes from its embryonic state and the infinite transformations that lead to defined structural organisms.

The release of this new publication coincides with the exhibition Lucy + Jorge Orta: Potential Architecture curated by Simon Beeson at TheGallery, Arts University Bournemouth. The exhibition brings together sculptures, drawings, and models created by the artist since the inception of Totipotent Architecture in 2002. This series marked a shift away from the body and transient shelters to more permanent proposals for sculpture and interventions in urban space.

Simon Beeson in conversation with Lucy Orta: 5pm-6pm, followed by drinks reception: 6pm-7pm, TheGallery. Exhibition on view until December 1, 2013

Studio Orta - What We Sow: 70 x 7 The Meal, act XXXIV

What We Sow: 70 x 7 The Meal, act XXXIV

05 October 2013
Independence National Historical Park, Philadelphia, Public artwork

To mark its 30th anniversary Mural Arts Philadelphia has invited Lucy + Jorge Orta to create the seminal project What We Sow, which expands on the social and civic foundation of the mural tradition by addressing the relationship among local communities, regional ecologies, global economies, and the politics of food production.

On October 5, 2013, to conclude an engaging schedule of community programs, Orta will stage 70 x 7 The Meal, act XXXIV, gathering thousands of people around a meal for dinner. The table, set with a newly commissioned edition of Royal Limoges porcelain plates and a table runner adorned with original drawings by the artists, will span Independence National Historical Park. Among its many historical treasures this park is home to Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution was debated and adopted in the late 18th century.

70 x 7 The Meal, act XXXIV will gather over a thousand guests around a communal table as well as simultaneous dinners across the city to engage diverse communities in conversation surrounding the issue of heirloom foods and their role in creating access to a healthier food system. The meal will feature a menu of heirloom produce created by Philadelphia’s star Chef Marc Vetri. Invitations to the 70 x 7 The Meal were awarded by lottery, offering equal chance for those from the Philadelphia community to not only take a seat at the table, but to find a voice in the discussion.

Studio Orta - Hangzhou Triennial of Fiber Art

Hangzhou Triennial of Fiber Art

21 September 2013 - 20 November 2013
Zhejiang Art Museum, Installation & Commission

The first ever Hangzhou Triennial of Fiber Art features two pivotal works by Lucy + Jorge Orta: a new, specially commissioned iteration of Nexus Architecture and the very first exposition of Connector Mobile Village in its entirety. 

Nexus Architecture is regarded as an emblem of Orta’s practice. This body of work, which is both an installation and performative, is comprised of groups of workers-overalls, interconnected via a system of channels and zippers called the ‘Nexus’, meaning link or bond. A Nexus Architecture intervention, with the participation of fifty performers, was staged on site in Hangzhou and filmed for a forthcoming new video. For the duration of the Triennial, an installation of the specially commissioned Nexus overalls will be on display at the Zhejiang Art Museum.

For the very first time Lucy + Jorge Orta’s Connector Mobile Village will be on view in its entirety, filling the striking entrance of the Zhejiang Art Museum. This monumental installation is the culmination of many years of work creating a vast system of modular architectures that adapt according to the needs of an individual or group. Each unit can be interconnected to form manifold complex structures capable of serving larger numbers of people and performing different residential, educational and social functions. The nature of these structures allows each individual to exert the freedom of choice by connecting to or disconnecting from the sequence at will.

Studio Orta - Lucy + Jorge Orta

Lucy + Jorge Orta

20 July 2013 - 03 November 2013
Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Solo exhibition

On July 20, 2013 a presentation of new and recent work by Lucy + Jorge Orta opens at Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Located in YSP’s Longside Gallery and on the park grounds, this important exhibition revolves around the theme of water, central to Orta’s practice. Alongside archival works the artists launch two major new commissions: Raft of the Medusa and Spirits of the Huveaune - Ubelka.

Raft of the Medusa, a centerpiece of the exhibition, is inspired by Théodore Géricault’s 1818-19 shipwreck painting Le Radeau de la Méduse. Constructed in the form of a radeau de fortune, this unusual patchwork assemblage of driftwood, lacquered glass, oil drums, giant oars and a ‘cloud’ roof resembles a large raft out of which juts an imposing ladder-cum-mast. The sculpture is laden with allusions to water’s contradictory power to save or destroy and to current international migration and the journeys many are forced to take in search of refuge.

Also unveiled is Ubelka, a larger than life female figure cast in bronze belonging to Orta’s ongoing Spirits series. Weaving a link between past and present, Spirits refers to the universal water cycle and its poetic representation through myth and legend surrounding the history of Marseille’s Huveaune river, along which five earlier works now permanently reside. Ubelka is the mother goddess of water, the maternal figure from whom the river takes its original name. Ubelka at YSP is generously enabled by Pangolin Editions.

Orta have designed two limited edition plates exclusively for YSP to coincide with the exhibition. Both designs draw from Orta’s series 70x7 The Meal bringing people together ad infinitum around the ritual of eating. Made in Royal Limoges porcelain with a four-color enamel process, including platinum silver accents, the plates feature the artists’ drawings and are signed and numbered on the reverse. Both are in an edition of 50 and available for the special exhibition price of £160, with presentation box. Please see here for further details.

Studio Orta - Glasstress: White Light / White Heat

Glasstress: White Light / White Heat

01 June 2013 - 20 November 2013
55th International Art Exhibition in Venice, Group exhibition

Glasstress. White Light / White Heat, curated by Adriano Berengo and James Putnam, invites artists to deal with light and heat, intrinsic aspects of glass and its working. Glass is born from the creative and destructive force of fire, which transforms the basic chemical elements into a viscous fluid. The result is a malleable matter with a chaotic, molecular structure providing light with a limitless variety of surfaces, colours, transparencies and reflections.

Specially commissioned for this exhibition, Lucy + Jorge Orta’s Amazonia Tree of Life is a magnificent bronze tree trunk, felled and polished over the years by river currents. Delicate blossoms of handcrafted glass flowers grafted onto carefully selected olive branches from the Mediterranean extend outward from the trunk. 

Amazonia Tree of Life follows the trajectory of Lucy + Jorge Orta’s ongoing Perpetual Amazonia project. During their expedition to the Peruvian Amazon in 2009 the artists photographed hundreds of rainforest plant species, a personalised collection of florilegium they continue to add to during their travels across the world. These florae have since been transformed into large format photographs, drawings, handcrafted couture works and porcelain objects. The latest interpretations in glass have been blown by the master craftsmen Danilo Zanella at the Berengo Studio in Venice, a truly unique addition to this ambitious project.

Glasstress is a collateral event of the 55th International Art Exhibition in Venice.

Studio Orta - Cloud | Meteoros : Inaugural Terrace Wires Commission Unveiled

Cloud | Meteoros : Inaugural Terrace Wires Commission Unveiled

18 April 2013 - 10 October 2013
Barlow Shed, St Pancras International London, Public sculpture commission

A suspended meeting place, the sky is the agora of our imagination.

On April 18, 2013 Lucy + Jorge Orta unveil their monumental work Cloud | Metéoros at St Pancras International. As part of a new initiative titled Terrace Wires, the artists have been selected to create the very first public sculpture to be suspended in the Barlow Shed of the Eurostar terminal.

The artwork will be a cardinal welcome to the nearly one million visitors to the station each week. Floating amid the glass-vaulted architecture of the historic Barlow Shed, Cloud | Metéoros resembles vast cumuli populated with travellers, a ‘magic carpet’ taking passengers on an imaginary journey in the skies. It also carries a more political message. The cloud calls into question how mankind will share the vital resource of water on earth.
Meteoros is derived from ancient Greek, meaning raised from the ground, suspended, lofty or in the midst. Clouds have long been intercessors between reality and the imagination, between heaven and earth, lightness and gravity. They inhabit the skies of Renaissance fresco paintings, often depicted crowded with laymen and prophets, angels and deities. Throughout history, this celestial vault has been a site of conviviality, of learning and exchange.

Terrace Wires is an initiative by HS1 Limited. This ambitious project finds its home in London alongside other annual public art commissions, including the Fourth Plinth, Turbine Hall at Tate Modern and the summer pavilion at Serpentine Gallery.

Studio Orta - Spirits of the Huveaune | Three new Spirits to be unveiled

Spirits of the Huveaune | Three new Spirits to be unveiled

06 April 2013
Marseille, la vallée de l’Huveaune, Public sculpture commission

In honor of Marseille-Provence 2013 European Capital of Culture and Fondation de France’s Nouveaux commanditaire, Lucy + Jorge Orta present Le Chemin des Fées – Spirits of the Huveaune, a 30km parcours of sculptures across four municipalities that invite people to rediscover the Huveaune river’s rich cultural heritage.

The five Spirits of the Huveaune, feminine figures cast into bronze, are situated along the Huveaune river valley between the spring, deep in the Provence Alps, and the estuary at the Mediterranean, the ancient sea port of Massilia. The legendry, supernatural and the imaginary are the artists’ sources of inspiration collated from historical texts, local legends and stories recounting the feminine presence associated with the Huveaune river and the valley.

April 6, 2013 marks the inauguration of three such spirits: la Fée de la source - Marie at the Martellière, Saint-Zacharia; la Fée du pont - Ubelka at the Moulin Saint-Claude, Auriol; and la Fée des berges - Manon at the Îlot des Berges Park, Aubagne.

A fourth spirit, La Fée du vieux moulin (Gyptis), was unveiled in October 2012 in the Vieux Moulin Park, and the fifth and final spirit, la Fée du lac - Ophélie, will be inaugurated in Borély Park this coming May.

The spirits invest each site as genii loci, weaving a link between the past and present. Referring to the universal water cycle, Le Chemin des Fées aims to raise public awareness of environmental issues related to the river’s fate, particularly water management in the future, there as elsewhere.

Chemin des Fées was commissioned by the Association Rives et Cultures.

Studio Orta - Food Water Life

Food Water Life

22 January 2013 - 03 March 2013
Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery, Wesleyan University, Solo exhibition

On January 22, 2013 the Zilkha Gallery at Wesleyan University opens its doors to Lucy + Jorge Orta’s seminal exhibition Food Water Life. The exhibition, which originated at Tufts University Gallery and which will tour the United States, explores how the artists' unique visual language tackles global issues affecting our lives. Three projects spanning close to two decades of collaborative work will be presented: Hortirecyling (1997-2005), OrtaWater (2005-2007) and Antarctica (1990-2009).

Lucy + Jorge Orta’s artwork communicates widely to audiences beyond the field of contemporary art, demonstrating the importance of art as a creative agent for awareness and change. During the next three years, the artists will stage on-location workshops, ephemeral interventions, residencies and master classes that explore the crucial themes of the contemporary world: the community, autonomy, dwelling, migration, sustainable development and recycling.

This exhibition will travel to the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University (January 25–May 25, 2014) and Richard E. Peeler Art Center, DePauw University, Greencastle (February 5–May 7, 2015) with other venues to be announced.

Studio Orta - Spécimens: Collections, croisements, sentinelles

Spécimens: Collections, croisements, sentinelles

25 November 2012 - 31 March 2013
Domaine de Chamarande, Group Exhibition

The Enlightenment gave rise to a systematised, encyclopaedic knowledge of nature attained by methods of collection, classification and empiricism. Artists and scientists alike have since applied this inheritance to the careful circumscription of nature by means of its depiction. For the exhibition Spécimens, the Domaine de Chamarande invites eleven international artists to present the fruit of their confrontations with naturalism. Through the appropriation of scientific approaches to classification, observation and experimentation these artists recompose our representation of the natural world. 

Spécimens features Lucy + Jorge Orta’s Perpetual Amazonia, artworks inspired by the artists’ participation in an expedition to the Peruvian Amazon in 2009 with scientists from the Environmental Change Institute (ECI) at Oxford University. Peru’s Manu Biosphere Reserve is a UNESCO World Heritage site where more than 15,000 species of plants have been recorded and up to 250 varieties of trees can be found in a single hectare. As part of the scientific research, Lucy + Jorge Orta mapped out a one-hectare plot in the rainforest at GPS coordinates S12 48 21.6 W71 24 17.6 in the heart of the Fundo Mascoitania. 

Lucy + Jorge Orta’s expedition moved them to conserve this hectare of land in perpetuity as part of their dedication to scientific research and to the benefits we all receive from long-term forest conservation. The Perpetual Amazonia body of work consists of murals of plant species, hand-made fabric flowers, carefully rendered porcelain fragments and enlarged photographs that focus on details otherwise invisible to the human eye. Their experiences have helped shape an exhibition that weaves scientific, aesthetic and cultural paradigms to lend insight into the area’s huge diversity of living organisms and to the space they occupy in the planet’s evolution.

Studio Orta - Clouds | Nuages

Clouds | Nuages

18 October 2012 - 21 October 2012
FIAC | galerieofmarseille, Art Fair

The cloud is an intermediary between two worlds. Its airy lightness and gas give free rein to the architectural imagination, whilst its liquid composition returns it to earth. The cloud, by virtue of its ubiquity, is an intercessor between reality and imagination, between heaven and earth, light and gravity. The absence of a stable form, which characterizes the cloud, is a powerful concept that embodies, with its dreams, the designs for an ideal society. Playing on its metamorphoses, it can convey, in the mode of fable, a more political message without gravity. Here, the message focuses on water, from which clouds are constituted, by asking how humans will share this resource on earth.

On galerieofmarseille’s stand at FIAC, Lucy + Jorge Orta will present Cloud Raft, one of the sculptures exhibited at La Maréchalerie – centre d’art de Versailles in 2011. Here the clouds proposed by Lucy + Jorge Orta take on greater material significance. They evoque the perturbations of the water cycle, its pollution, commodification and scarcity. Constituted from recycled plastic bottles, Cloud Raft refers in particular to the new plastic waste continents adrift on the world's oceans, a striking image of a doomed world. The reflection on the water is an undercurrent throughout several recent works of this binomial series, gathered under the title OrtaWater: machinery to distribute or recycle water, and vessels to ensure survival of the living after the environmental disasters that lie ahead. In this perspective, the cloud can be seen as a thermodynamic megamachine: it makes rain, recycles water and distributes it on our planet.

The artists will also be participating in FIAC Hors les Murs 2012 with the installation/action International Passport Distribution Bureau, presented on this occasion at the main entrance of the Jardin des Plantes.

Studio Orta - FIAC Hors Les Murs

FIAC Hors Les Murs

16 October 2012 - 24 October 2012
Jardin des Plantes Paris, Installation-action

In the framework of FIAC Hors les Murs 2012, at the main entrance of the Jardin des Plantes, Lucy + Jorge Orta present Antarctica World Passport Delivery Bureau, an important installation comprised of micro-architectures fabricated from recycled materials. This installation gives rise to an action: thousands of Antarctica World Passports will be distributed to visitors aspiring to become citizens of the new Antarctica global community.

Spectator-participants can join the tens of thousands of citizens who have already received individual passports, each of which affirms that, “Every human being has the right to move freely and cross frontiers to their chosen territory." These passport also propose an amendment to Article 13 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights 13.3 with the following statement: "Individuals should not be deemed of an inferior status to that of capital, trade, telecommunication and pollution, all of which have no boundaries."

Lucy + Jorge Orta’s Antarctica World Passport is a an original artwork to be treasured and passed on to future generation, an attribute of citizenship of the world but also a testament that art can change lives.

The Studio Orta team will be on site to distribute passports October 16, 5:30pm to 8pm & October 21, 1pm to 4pm.
Lucy + Jorge Orta will also be on view at FIAC on the stand of galerieofmarseille.