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January 03, 2005

LUCY ORTA

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The Staging of a Social Bond

LUCY ORTA born in Great Britain 1966, studio based in Paris. Lucy Orta's Refuge Wear, was first noticed in the early 90's. These objects resembled temporary mobile architectures which transformed into poetic items of clothing, sleeping bags, first aid units, for nomadic populations. Her Collective Wear sculptures in the form of tent domes with protruding appendages, exhibited in the Modern Art museum in Paris in 1994 were placed into urban contexts for a series of interventions in housing estates, subway stations... and later developed into a human chain, Nexus Architecture which has since become the emblem of her work and has been presented in site specific performances such as the Venice Biennale in 1995, Johannesburg Biennale 1997, Museum of Contemporary Art Sydney 1998, Bolivia, Berlin, New York, Mexico City.

She encourgages in an active participation from very diverse members of the community by organising workshop "Actions" and her projects both in the museum space and within the community question the role of art as a agent for participation and dialogue. Particulary pertinent are the public works Life Nexus Village Fte co-comissioned by the University of Central England for the exhibition "In the Midst of Things" in Bournville 1999 and the Art Gallery of Western Australia 2000. Recent public works such as "Hortireycycling Enterprise" exhibited at the Secession in 1999 and 70x7 The Meal introduce the theme of the meal as a ritual for public exchange and at the Kunstraum Innsbruck in January 2000, she proposed a 70 metre table service with a series of lunches for infinite number of guests to dine together for a moment of convivialty.

"The staging of a social bond is the common denominator linking Lucy Orta's different projects and perfectly reflects her transverse approach to poetic expression. Her Refuge Wear and Nexus Architecture interventions are effective tools in the struggle against exclusion and combine architecture, body art, street theatre, fashion, social therapy, formal poetry and ideological activism. The titles of her principal projects, which function both as social scenarios and art works, speak for themselves : Nexus Architecture, Refuge Wear, Modular Architecture, Commune Communicate, Citizen Platform... She has, since 1992, brilliantly addressed issues of relational aesthetics, her principal field of intervention being the personal space of the individual fighting for survival in adverse conditions." Pierre Restany [thanks pasta and vinegar]

Posted by jo at January 3, 2005 10:52 AM

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