Nexus Architecture - Venice Biennale

Studio Orta - 0301.01_a.jpg
Studio Orta - 0301.01_b.jpg
Studio Orta - 0301.01_c.jpg
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Date: 1995
Ref: 0301.01
Materials: Waterproof microporous polyester, silkscreen print, zippers
Dimensions: 170 x 120cm. This is number 1 in a series of 16 originals signed by the artist
Catalogued: p33 Lucy Orta, Phaidon Press UK 2003; Cover Refuge Wear, Editions Jean Michel Place 1996
Exhibition history: 1996 Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain Paris; 1995 XLVI Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition, Italy
Courtesy: Private Collection Brussels

Lucy Orta crafts wearable architectures that once occupied and mobilized in city spaces operate as miniaturized counter-sites. Both architecture and performance, her works trace meandering itineraries and activate sporadic critical inversions that comment upon and contest taken-for-granted conditions of contemporary urban life: displacement, exile, poverty, homelessness. Her projects are never merely utopian because they are both ‘mythic and real’: they are realized, fabricated and deliberately situated in the city, but sustain a mythic aura because they resist the realist, propositional mode of the architect, urban designer or planner. Suspended in this space between reality and myth, Orta equips and choreographs her urban subjects such that they stand witness to the troubles of the world. They disturb our received picture of the world and solicit us to attend to it anew. Like Foucault’s heterotopic spaces, they are catalysts for new attitudes to the city and the way we live in it. Stephen Cairns