Symphony for Absent Wildlife

Date: 2015
Materials: Symphony for Absent Wildlife performance, wall drawings, three-dimensional audio immersion
Dimensions: Site specific
Catalogued: Fabulae Naturae. Milan, Marsilio 2015
Exhibition history: 2015, ZegnArt, Ermenegildo Zegna global headquarters, Milan, Italy
Courtesy: Lucy + Jorge Orta and ZegnArt

In Milan, the performance Symphony of Absent Wildlife, formed the centre-piece to the artists' multi-sensory exhibition Fabuale Naturae. Lucy + Jorge Orta transformed the architecture of the Ermengildo Zegan global headquarters designed by Antonio Citterio, into a forest setting with a kaleidoscope of wall drawings wrapped around the building. Within this botanical setting was staged a performance –an ode to wildlife – to intensify the feeling of stepping into a fairy tale world inhabited by fictional creatures of the forest. In Symphony for Absent Wildlife each performer wears a thick, felt tailcoat and sculptured mask of a woodland creature. The three-dimensional sound-scape of the orchetra is conceived as a dichotomy between a ‘false’ flute orchestra acting out a dawn chorus and a ‘true’ orchestra consisting of hand-made wooden bird whistles.

Fabulae Naturae was commissioned by ZegnArt for the Expo Milan (May 2015), and is a new episode of the discursive and performative platforms connecting art, nutrition and ethical themes presented by Lucy + Jorge Orta in cities around the world since 1997. Photography Paul Bevan.

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