Antarctica Dome Dwelling

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Studio Orta - 5001
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Date: 2008
Ref: 5001-25
Materials: Coated polyamide, various textiles, nation flags, silkscreen print, second hand clothes, webbing, clips
Dimensions: 180 x 180 x 150cm each Dome (25 unique works)
Catalogued: Antarctica, Electa Mondadori, 2008, pp. 30, 95
Exhibition history: 2013 VanAbbe Museum, Eindhoven, Holland; 2012 Tufts University Gallery, USA; 2009 Royal Academy of the Arts London, UK; 2008 Hangar Bicocca Milan, Italy; Galeria Continua Le Moulin, France; 2007 End of the World Biennale, Antarctica
Courtesy: Lucy + Jorge Orta

The body of work Antarctica addresses issues relating to the environment, politics, autonomy, habitat, mobility and relationships among peoples. The Antarctic is home to the earth’s most hostile climate conditions. It is the coldest place on the planet, with temperatures as low as -80° C. Its desert of ice is the largest in the world. No permanent human settlements exist there, and there is no native population. Yet, it is a wonderful nature reserve whose glaciers contain 80% of the planet’s fresh water and it is the only region on earth not claimed by any country and politically neutral. The Antarctic Treaty, which counts over 50 signatory nations, has preserved Antarctica as an area for scientific research with common pacific aims to protect the environment and to encourage international cooperation.
 Antarctica embodies utopia: a continent whose extreme climate imposes mutual aid and solidarity, freedom of research and collaboration. It is a place where the immaculate whiteness contains all the wishes of humanity to spread a message of hope for future generations.

In 2007, the End of the World Biennale commissioned the artists to embark upon a remarkable expedition to Antarctica aboard the Hercules KC130 flight. At the end of the Austral summer, aided by the logistical crew and scientists stationed at the Marambio Antarctic Base, Lucy + Jorge Orta founded their ephemeral Antarctic Village. Each dwelling is hand stitched by a traditional tent maker with sections of flags from countries around the world, along with extensions of clothes and gloves, symbolising the multiplicity and diversity of people. The arm of a white-collar worker shirt hangs next to the sleeve of a children’s sweater. Together the flags and fragments of clothes emblazoned with silkscreen motifs make reference the UN Declaration for Human Rights and could be considered the physical embodiment of the 'Global Village'.