Hortirecycling Enterprise - Processing Unit
Materials: Iron trolley, shopping caddie, sink, ustensils, jam jars, buckets, laminated C-print, vinyl adhesives
Dimensions: 95 x 65 x 200cm
Catalogued: Lucy + Jorge Orta: Food Water Life, Princeton Architectural Press, NY, p.57; Lucy Orta, Phaidon Press UK, 2003 pp 66-68
Exhibition history: 2009 Plymouth Arts Centre, UK; 2005 Barbican Art Gallery London, UK; 1999 Weiner Secession, Austria
Courtesy: Lucy + Jorge Orta
Following on from the exhibition All in One Basket (act I) in 1997, HortiRecycling Enterprise (act II) was commissioned by the Weiner Secession in 1999. Drawing from the founding motto of the Secession “To every age its art and to art its freedom”, as well as the proximity of the fruit and vegetable Naschmarkt opposite the gallery, Lucy + Jorge Orta devised their first recycling enterprise. Instead of discarding damaged fruit and vegetables, the market vendors were given the artists' Collect Units, brightly colored silkscreen-printed bags, to fill with rejected produce throughout the day. These were then collected with the aid of the Processing Units, mobile kitchens with integrated shopping carts, sinks, hotplates, and freezers. Ripe produce was cleaned, chopped, and cooked on location by the famous Viennese chef, Han Staud. Freshly prepared delicacies were offered to the general public, in exchange for discussions about sustainable initiatives.
In the Wiener Secession’s first-floor gallery, Orta installed a fully-functioning kitchen, complete with Collect Unit Pulley, a wooden winch reminiscent of the medieval pulley systems used to haul groceries in baskets to the upper floors of tall buildings. Market produce was sucessfully delivered to the gallery, cleaned, cooked, and then bottled or frozen in dainty portions ready for distribution. This effective pilot action linked market and the gallery, art and life, building links with diverse communities across the city and demonstrating the power of socially engaged practice, to bring about change.