2020 - 2007
Materials: Lambda colour photograph backed on Dibond. Edition of 10 (3 AP)
Dimensions: 90 x 120 cm
Catalogued: p. 120, Lucy + Jorge Orta Food Water Life, Princeton Architecture Press, NY. ISBN 978-1-56898-991-4
Courtesy: Lucy + Jorge Orta
The Antarctica Flag represents a kaleidoscope of different nations, as if through the filter of a prism, the flag concentrates all the national colours into the sum of light, as white as snow. All identities coexist, side by side, hand in hand. The edges blend, symbolising belonging to a larger common identity. The flag of a new world community, to be raised as a symbol of hope and a supranational emblem of human rights.
In 2007 Lucy + Jorge Orta embarked upon a remarkable expedition to Antarctica aboard the Hercules KC130 flight. Toward the end of the Austral summer, aided by the logistical crew and scientists stationed at the Marambio Antarctic Base, the artists founded the ephemeral Antarctic Village and raised the Antarctica Flag as a tribute to the Antarctic Treaty.
The Antarctica project 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 70% 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 protects Antarctica for scientific research with common pacific aims, to protect the environment and to encourage international cooperation.
For Lucy + Jorge Orta, the Antarctic continent embodies utopia: the extreme climate imposes mutual aid and solidarity, freedom of research, of sharing, and collaboration. It is a place where the immaculate white landscape contains all the wishes of humanity to spread a message of hope for future generations.