HortiRecycling—Recycling Enterprise Act II, 1999

Date: 1997 - 1999
Ref: 0600.02
Materials: Exhibition and public engagement project, Weiner secession, Vienna, Austria
Catalogued: Exhibition catalogue Weiner Secession 1999; p68 Lucy Orta Phaidon Press 2003
Exhibition history: 1999 Weiner Secession, Austria

Spurred on by the stimulating public responses of All in One Basket—Buffet Act I, HortiRecycling Enterprise explores a simple citizen initiative for food recycling and distribution. Commissioned by the Vienna’s avant-garde exhibition venue, the Weiner Secession, Act II draws from the proximity of the Naschmarkt opposite the gallery, where it was possible for Lucy + Jorge Orta to pilot their enterprise. Having concluded that great amounts of edible waste could be avoided if it was not discarded onto the dirty streets, the artists distributed ‘Collect Units’ to vendors at the market, thus short-circuiting a problem of hygiene. During the day a team collected the brightly coloured silkscreen-printed bags overflowing with rejected produce with the aid of the ‘Processing Units’. These mobile kitchens with integrated shopping carts, sinks, hotplates and freezers enabled the rapid conditioning of the ripe produce, where it was washed, chopped and cooked on location with the help of the famous Viennese chef, Han Staud. Freshly prepared delicacies were offered to the general public in exchange for discussions about sustainable initiatives. Once the market closed, HortiRecycling Enterprise was transferred to the Weiner Secession where a wooden winch, reminiscent of the medieval pulley systems, hauled more bags of groceries to the upper floor galleries. Market produce was prepared and bottled or frozen in dainty portions ready for re-distribution to gallery visitors. This pilot action linked market commerce and gallery; art and life, building links with communities across the city to promote an awareness of waste and to drive new recycling initiatives.

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