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Lucy Orta

1966 | Sutton Coldfield, United Kingdom
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British visual artist.

After graduating from a fashion design school, Lucy Orta turned towards visual arts as of 1991, when she met Jorge Orta, an Argentinian artist with whom she has collaborated since. Experimenting with sculpture, photography, as well as interventions in the public space, her work, which she defines as “body architecture”, addresses the boundaries between architecture and the body. While she chooses to show her work in museums and cultural institutions, she also insists on showing it outside, in that she considers the street a crucial element to re-assess our social realities through the use of poetic and metaphorical forms made to explore the notion of exchanges in the public space. With her first Refuge Wear and Body Architecture pieces in the 90s, which were made out of humanitarian equipment like tents, survival blankets and sleeping bags turned into temporary shelters and portable architectures, Orta took an interest in means of survival.

Her Nexus Architecture Interventions (1994-2002) were interactive interventions during which volunteers wore outfits that linked them to one another to create modular structures. The work of the Orta duo tackles major social issues such as water, food, migration, and the environment. The series Orta Water (2005), for instance, highlights both the importance of water access for all and the dangers of its overconsumption. For their project Antarctic Village: No Borders (1992-2008), Lucy and Jorge Orta built an “Antarctic village” consisting of fifty or so dwelling units made out of flags, pieces of clothing and gloves, like symbols of a welcoming world without borders, a symbolic shelter for citizens of the world. Amazonia (2010), their most recent series, uses photographic and sculptural pieces to show the diversity and beauty of the natural world that surrounds us. The couple’s work has been the subject of monographic exhibitions in many museums around the world, and was featured in various biennales.

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Laëtitia Bahuon

From the Dictionnaire universel des créatrices
© 2013 Des femmes – Antoinette Fouque
© Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions
Lucy Orta — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Lucy Orta, Modular Architecture – The Unit x 10, 1996, dance performance, © Photo: John Akehurst, © Lucy et Jorge Orta, © ADAGP, Paris

Lucy Orta — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Lucy Orta, Refuge Wear Intervention, London East End 1998 (2), 1998, lambda photograph, laminated on Dibond, 150 x 120 cm, © Photo: John Akehurst, © Lucy et Jorge Orta, © ADAGP, Paris

Lucy Orta — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Refuge Wear Intervention, London East End 1998, 1998, lambda photograph, laminated on Dibond, 150 x 120 cm, © Photo: John Akehurst, © Lucy et Jorge Orta, © ADAGP, Paris

Lucy Orta — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Lucy Orta, Nexus Architecture x 50 Intervention Köln, 2001, original lambda colour photograph, laminated, 150 x 120 cm, © Photo:  Peter Guenzel, © Lucy & Jorge Orta, © ADAGP, Paris

Lucy Orta — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Lucy Orta, Antarctic Village – No Borders, 2007, ephemeral installation of Antartic village, North, South East and West villages accross the Antartic Peninsula from March to April 2007, various dimensions, © Photo: Thierry Bal / Dirección Nacional del Antártico, © Lucy & Jorge Orta, © ADAGP, Paris

Lucy Orta — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Lucy Orta, Antarctica World Passport, 2008, First edition of 10,000 passports and online data base for Antarctica World Citizens, 12.5 x 8.5 cm, © Lucy and & Jorge Orta, © ADAGP, Paris

Lucy Orta — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Lucy Orta, Antartica Flag (Festival of the World-Southbank, London), 2012, Flag netting (knitted) with a 98% show through on the reverse. Fire rating B1, 560 x 400 cm each, © Lucy & Jorge Orta, © ADAGP, Paris

Lucy Orta — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Lucy Orta, Cloud | Meteoros, 2013, installation in the Terrace Wires, St Pancras International Station London, UK – Resin, epoxy paint, aluminium, diptych 800 x 270 x 297 cm and 600 x 230 x 280 cm, © Photo: Sam Lane, © Lucy & Jorge Orta, © ADAGP, Paris

Lucy Orta — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Lucy Orta, Antarctica World Passport Delivery Bureau – Grand Palais, Paris – COP21, 2015, Bureau construction in reclaimed materials, chairs, various found objects, Antarctica World Passports, iPads, passport stamps, ink pads, 300 x 315 x 450 cm, © Lucy & Jorge Orta, © ADAGP, Paris

Lucy Orta — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Lucy Orta, Antarctica World Passport Delivery Bureau – Geneva, 2015, bureau construction in reclaimed materials, chairs, various found objects, Antarctica World Passports, iPads, passport stamps, ink pads, 300 x 315 x 300 cm, © Photo: Gorm Ashurst, © Lucy & Jorge Orta, © ADAGP, Paris

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