Food Water Life | Johnson Museum of Art
Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Solo exhibition
On January 25, the Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University inaugurates the next chapter of Lucy + Jorge Orta’s exhibition Food Water Life. The show presents three projects that span close to two decades of collaborative work. Through sculpture, drawing, installation, and video the artists explore concerns that define the twenty-first century: biodiversity, environmental sustainability, climate change, and social economy.
As heirs to the practice of social sculpture, formulated by the German artist and activist Joseph Beuys in the 1960s, the Orta’s works are relics of their own function—captivating assemblages such as the Processing Units and the Purification Factory are, respectively, a platform for the preparation of food and a mechanism to purify water. Other elements, created for a 2007 expedition to Antarctica, form part of an effort to amend the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The featured works are metaphors-in-action, constructions that perform the tasks of which they are emblematic.
This exhibition, which is curated by curatorsquared, originated at Tufts University Gallery and tours to the Ben Maltz Gallery, Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles (August 16 – December 7 2014) and the Richard E. Peeler Art Center, DePauw University, Greencastle (February 5 – May 7, 2015).