FOOD-WATER-LIFE—LUCY+JORGE ORTA exhibition at Zilkha Gallery

Guest Curators: Ginger Gregg Duggan and Judith Hoos Fox of c2, curatorsquared

Friday, January 25 through Sunday, March 3, 2013
Opening Reception: Tuesday, January 29, 2013  from 4:30pm to 6:30pm
Gallery Talk at 5pm by Ginger Gregg Duggan and Judith Hoos Fox

Main Gallery, Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery, FREE!

“Parallel and feeding into their studio practice of sculpture and painting, [Lucy+Jorge Orta] stage ephemeral interventions, performances, [and] workshops, which explore the crucial themes of the contemporary world.”—Sublime Magazine (London)

The work of Lucy+Jorge Orta explores the major concerns that define the 21st century: biodiversity, environmental conditions, climate change, and exchange among peoples. At the same time, this work embodies the philosophy that steers their pioneering art practice, “the ethics of aesthetics.” As heirs to the practice of social sculpture, formulated by Joseph Beuys in the 1960s, the Ortas’ works are, in a sense, reflections of their own function—beguiling assemblages that are the platform for the preparation of food, mechanisms that actually purify water, and elements that they created for their 2007 expedition to Antarctica and that are part of an effort to amend Article XIII of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The works in the FOOD-WATER-LIFE—LUCY+JORGE ORTA exhibition are metaphors-in-action, constructions that perform the tasks of which they are emblematic. It is in their ability to actually function, albeit awkwardly and haltingly, that these objects gain power as works of art created to move us to awareness and action. This traveling exhibition has been organized by the Tufts University Art Gallery, Medford, Massachusetts. At Wesleyan University, FOOD-WATER-LIFE—LUCY+JORGE ORTA is co-sponsored by the College of the Environment with additional support from the Department of Art and Art History and the Office of Student Affairs.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 4:15pm

Artist Lucy Orta will discuss the ideas in the exhibition.

ABOVE (from left): HortiRecycling—Mexican Kitchen (detail), 1997–2208 (photo: Bertrand Huet); OrtaWater—Fluvial Intervention Unit (detail), 2005 (photo: Gino Gabrieli); Life Line—Survival Kit (detail), 2008 (photo: Bertrand Huet)