press release

From 12 November 2005, visitors to Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen can enjoy themselves in the exhibition ‘Water & Works, projects by Lucy and Jorge Orta’. Prompted by a strong sense of social responsibility, Lucy Orta has developed a water project which, together with a number of highlights from her work, will be on show until 5 February 2006.

Water A preliminary version of Lucy Orta’s ‘Orta Water02’ was on show at the last Biennial in Venice. Since then this machine has been developed further and will pump water from the nearby Westersingel in Rotterdam into the museum to be purified by a number of ingenious machines to produce drinkable water. The aim of the project is to draw attention to problem of drinking water. Visitors to the exhibition will be able to draw Ortawater and buy the unique products for ten euros each. The proceeds are meant for a good cause that does permanent work for drinking water projects in developing countries.

Works ‘Orta Water02’ will be presented in the context of a number of key works in Lucy Orta’s oeuvre such as the projects ‘Nexus’, ‘Connector’, ‘Body Architecture’ and ‘Refuge Wear’. Trained as a fashion designer, Orta scans the boundaries of her profession. Her investigatory nature reveals her as a pioneer in social issues, and her creations demonstrate the conceptual force of fantasy, mobile architecture and design. Her clothes are primarily designed to highlight themes such as ‘survival’ and ‘social isolation’. Individual survival outfits are banished in favour of survival tents for entire communes. The accent is no longer literally on physically threatened people, but on social alienation, and is clearly visible in ‘Nexus’, a series of design concepts for groups of people who literally join themselves together when walking in demonstrations. In 1992 Lucy Orta made the ‘Refuge Wear’ series, another response to social abuse. She produced ‘Body Architecture’, a series of garments which in an emergency can be transformed into tents. She also organizes performances all over the world and vast banquets which are intended to bring people closer together. She frequently works with art school students and local action groups.

The British artist Lucy Orta lives and works in Paris. She teaches at the London College of Fashion and until recently taught at the Design Academy in Eindhoven.

This project was made possible by support from H&F.

Lucy & Jorge Orta. Water & Works
Lucy Orta, Jorge Orta