All in One Basket, Act I - Conservation Unit

Studio Orta - 0603.jpg
Studio Orta - 0603
Studio Orta - 0603

Date: 1997
Ref: 0603
Materials: Steel trolly, 16 salvaged fruit crates, laminated cibachrome, 3 amplifiers, audio diffusions, 2 walkmans, 2 CDs
Dimensions: 80 x 48 x 230cm
Catalogued: p65 Lucy Orta, Phaidon Press UK 2003
Exhibition history: 2005 Z33, Hasselt, Belgium; 1997 Gallerie Saint Eustache, Paris, France
Courtesy: Collection of FRAC Lorraine, France

The body of work entitled 'Food' unfolds over a number of years through a series of 'acts'. The first act, All in One Basket, was initiated in Paris in 1997 and points a finger at food waste and the inequalities of its distribution. Using the fruit and vegetable markets in Paris as an example of a growing urban phenomenon, this public and participative artwork helped to prompt a wider debate around the subject.
In 1997, Lucy + Jorge Orta hosted an open-air buffet in Les Halles, the former city market and now a bustling shopping mall in central Paris. The food served was made from discarded fruit salvaged from Parisian street markets. Over three hundred kilograms of ripe produce that they had gleaned leading up to the event. The famous Parisian pâtissier Stohrer collaborated to help prepare and cook a variety of sweet dishes; jams, jellies and puddings. During the course of the day, thousands of people from all walks of life stopped to taste the free delicacies, from members of the art community, to shoppers, families, students, tourists, as well as homeless and migrant communties. In the adjacent gallery of Saint Eustache the artists presented an installation of objects and sculptures constructed from salvaged wooden fruit crates a photographs of their gleaning expeditions. The Storage Unit is a trolley adorned with baskets used to collect the produce, homemade preserves in mini-jars and an integrated audio track playing the recordings of interviews with the community of gleaners at the weekly markets.