OrtaWater returns to The Netherlands
Museum de Lakenhal, Leiden, Group Exhibition
Following on from OrtaWater presented at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen Rotterdam in 2005, Lucy + Jorge Orta have been invited to create a new rendition of their Purification Factory for Museum De Lakenhal’s summer exhibition Global Imaginations. The artists’ factory will be purifying and distributing water from the De Meelfabriek, an abandoned flour factory that reflects the city’s industrial past, from 27 June until 4 October 2015.
Lucy + Jorge Orta will be among the twenty leading contemporary artists presented in Global Imaginations, seeking ways to better understand our world geography. In the Dutch town of Leiden, scientists from the Leiden University have been studying the globe for centuries, and their efforts often relied on collaboration with artists who captured their findings in maps, botanical drawings, diagrams and symbols. But the modern world is changing constantly. The traditional borders that separate the local, the national and the international are quickly fading thanks to the development of the internet and through increasing migration, while new scientific discoveries are constantly enabling us to adapt our own worldviews.
Within this context, Lucy + Jorge’s body of work OrtaWater focuses on water scarcity and the complex issues surrounding the corporate control of access to clean water. Their sculptures are both playful and provocative, incorporating fully functioning low-cost purification machinery, bottling stations and transportation devices that enable filthy water to be pumped and filtered directly from neighbouring polluted water sources. Water Purification Factory is typical of the artists’ aesthetic, a huge assemblage of reclaimed wooden huts, water objects and machinery that will be pumping polluted water from Old Rhine and distributing clean samples, to help broaden our understanding of water availability, the effects of pollution, and to demonstrate simple purification and distribution solutions.