Refuge Wear (Video)

Date: 1998
Ref: 2000
Materials: Original filmed in Beta SP
Dimensions: 3’16
Courtesy: Lucy + Jorge Orta. Produced by Pascal d’Horaene for Dazed & Confused Channel 4 commission

Lucy Orta crafts personal wearable architectures that once occupied and mobilized in city spaces operate as miniaturized counter-sites. As architectures and performances 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. These interventions 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

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