Lucy + Jorge Orta’s collaborative visual arts practice employs a diversity of media including drawing, sculpture and performance to realize major bodies of work that address key social and ecological challenges. Amongst their most emblematic bodies of work are: Refuge Wear and Body Architecture, portable minimum habitats bridging architecture and dress; Nexus Architecture investigates alternative models of the social link; HortiRecycling and 70 x 7 The Meal question the local and global food chain and rituals of community feasting; OrtaWater and Clouds reflect on water scarcity and the problems arising from its pollution and corporate control; Antarctica considers the effects of climate change on migration; and Amazonia explores interwoven ecosystems and their value to our natural environment.
In recognition of their contribution to sustainability, the artists received the Green Leaf Award for artistic excellence with an environmental message, presented by the United Nations Environment Programme in partnership with the Natural World Museum at the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo, Norway (2007). Their monumental Cloud Meteoros was selected for the inaugural Terrace Wires public art commission for St Pancras International in London (2013).
Orta’s artwork has been the focus of important exhibitions, including: the Argentine representation at the 46th Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition (1995); 2nd Johannesburg Biennale, South Africa (1997); Secession, Vienna (1999); Gwangju Biennale (2004); The Curve, Barbican Art Gallery, London and Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa, Venice (2005); Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam; 9th Havana Biennale (2006); Biennial of the End of the World, Ushuaia and the Antarctic Peninsula (2007); Pirelli Hangar Bicocca, Milan (2008); Natural History Museum, London (2010); MAXXI National Museum of XXI Century Arts, Rome and Shanghai Biennale (2012); Yorkshire Sculpture Park (2013); Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art and Parc de la Villette, Paris (2014); London Museum, Ontario (2015); Attenborough Arts Centre, Leicester; City Gallery Museum, Peterborough; Emsherkunst, Rhur (2016); Humber Street Gallery, Hull (2017); Ikon Gallery, Birmingham (2018); Palazzo Vecchio, Museo Salvatore Ferragamo, Museo Novecento, Florence (2019); Les Tanneries, Amilly; Drawing Lab, Paris (2020).
Numerous monographs have been published, and their work can be found in public and private collections around the world.
Lucy + Jorge Orta founded Les Moulins in 2000 as an extension of their practice, to create a community dedicated to artistic research and production of contemporary art. Les Moulins is informed by the natural environment and the industrial heritage of the former factories and paper mills along the Grand Morin valley in Seine-et-Marne. The complex spans an 8km stretch of the river and unites different actors in contemporary art across four historical buildings: Moulin Sainte-Marie, Moulin de Boissy, Moulin La Vacherie and La Laiterie. Today, Les Moulins is home to artist studios, production workshops, residencies, exhibition and performance venues set within a 20-hectare sculpture park.
Amazonia Expedition drawings témoigne des impressions de Lucy+ Jorge Orta et de leurs réactions à leur expédition en forêt tropicale en 2009. Leur attrayante iconographie montre la dépendance mutuelle des hommes et de la nature, tout en signifiant une urgence de plus en plus pressante. Nous, humains, sommes davantage dépendants de la nature que la nature ne l’est de nous, bien que notre présence entraînera son déclin (et avec lui le déclin de l’humanité), à moins que nous n’envisagions de changer, de trouver des solutions aux problèmes locaux et mondiaux en nous plaçant au sein de la nature et non en-dehors d’elle. Plusieurs dessins de la série seront présentés.
Certificate of Moral ownership The Perpetual Amazonia certificate of moral ownership is a symbolic land title right (a deed) to a hectare of land in the Amazon rainforest, which has been divided up into 10,000 sub-plots. One certificate accompanies each artwork in the Amazonia series and constitutes a legal document that geo-localises the exact location of a sub-plot measuring one-metre square. The deed describes the plot’s natural features with the organisms and species that reside there and outlines the moral obligations of the title holder for a period of two generations, with a minimum of 60-year ownership. On acquiring an artwork, the certificate automatically gives the deed holder the right to become a custodian of a fragment of a larger whole.