Body Architecture - Collective Wear 4 persons

Date: 1998
Ref: 0050.02
Materials: Aluminium coated polyamide, microporous polyester, telescopic aluminium armatures, grip soles
Dimensions: 180 x 180 x 150 cm
Exhibition history: 1998 Royal College of Art Galleries, UK; 1996 Musée d'Art moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris, France
Courtesy: Collection Fonds National d'Art Contemporain, France

Following on from the Refuge Wear series (1992-1998), Lucy Orta began working on Body Architecture, shifting the focus away from the microcosm of the individual to the macrocosm of the community and communal modular habitations. These structures embody the principle of solidarity so central to Orta’s thinking and establish physical links between individuals, symbolizing the myriad ties that can be forged emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Reflecting on the significance of this work within a social context, the French cultural theorist Paul Virilio concluded that Body Architecture units constitute a metaphoric remedy for the problems facing society: “The precarious nature of society is no longer that of the unemployed or the abandoned, but that of individuals socially alone. In the proximate vicinity our families are falling apart. One’s individual life depends on the warmth of the other. The warmth of one gives warmth to the other. The physical link weaves the social link.”

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