Materials: 16 cast and lacquered aluminium milk containers, lacquered glass
Dimensions: 250 x 80 x 20cm
Catalogued: 2014 Lucy + Jorge Orta: Food Water Life. Actes Sud, Arles
Exhibition history: 2023 Wellcome Collection, London, UK; 2012 Ulrich Museum, USA; 2010 Galleria Continua Les Moulins, Boissy-le-Châtel, France; 2010 Permekemuseum, Jabekke, Belgium
Courtesy: Lucy + Jorge Orta
Milk was initially inspired by the poignant advertising campaigns “Vaso de Leche”, which targeted undernourished children in Peru in the early 1980's, yet the work refers to a wider set of health issues. Over the years, Lucy + Jorge Orta have observed how people all over the world deal with milk as a staple of nutritional health in many diets. The cast aluminium jugs, bottles, packages and cartons no longer hold any milk, nor are they marked with significant texts or images. Rather, they are stripped of all marketing, revealing an aesthetic beauty born of functional design. Milk pays tribute to its container, a seemingly insignificant and neutral object for an essential nutrient.
This work was made possible through the support of Royal DSM and dairy farmers in Puna, India and with thanks to the collaboration of the Baliehof Farm for the exhibition Wijheizij at the Permekemuseum in Jabekke.