Madre de Dios - Fluvial Intervention Unit
Materials: Dug out pirogue, mirror, lacquered glass, steel frame, reconditioned wood, life rings, toy animals
Dimensions: 160h x 150l x 550 cm
Exhibition history: 2012 Chateau de Chamarande, France; 2010 Natural History Museum London, UK
Courtesy: Lucy + Jorge Orta
Hundreds of tiny animals are kept afloat on the long pirogue, a boat from Indonesia carved by hand from a single tree. It is a floating support for the rescue of the creatures here, which are reflected into infinity by the mirrored surfaces,referencing the global species list and millions of years of evolution on Earth.
The Madre de Dios is an Andean tributary that feeds into the Amazon River, and Madre de Dios means mother ofGod, a reference to the Virgin Mary. The artists navigated the river for several days, through a 350-kilometre stretchof Amazon forest. They stopped overnight at the jungle lodges and research stations dotted along the banks.