Life Guards in Safe and Sound
Mudac, Lausanne, Switzerland
The exhibition Safe and Sound curated by Claire Favre Maxwell at the Mudac in Lausanne, from March 23 to August 21, 2016 focuses on themes of security, fear, protection and surveillance in 21st Century, and addresses these phenomena through design, objects from everyday life, photography and contemporary art.
The current trend of 'ultra-safety' – rejecting the unexpected and planning for every eventuality – is becoming an imposed standard and it reflects the denial of death that is characteristic of contemporary society. Countless security instructions detail procedures to avoid risk in the public space, while entrances to a growing number of public places are heavily controled - our faces, bodies, fingerprints and pupils are repeatedly scanned. Western society is moving towards ultra-security, towards a refusal of the unexpected and an absolute desire for anticipation.
Under the heading protection, Lucy + Jorge Orta exhibit sculpture from the Life Guard series, which incorporate the artists’ signature Red Cross army surplus. Stretcher beds transform into collective overalls and camp beds detach from frames morphing into sleeping bags; rucksacks convert to multiple habitats and linen tarpaulins mutate into collective harnesses, dinghies deploy creating wearable life rafts and lifejackets pop-out of courier bags – an endless array of mutable Utopian prototypes for survival, conceived over the last ten years of their practice.