August 30, 2012

Food—Water—Life/Lucy+Jorge Orta

Tufts University Art Galleries
Lucy+Jorge Orta, OrtaWater-Fluvial Intervention Unit, 2005.*

The Tufts University Art Gallery at the Shirley and Alex Aidekman Arts Center is proud to premier FoodWaterLife/Lucy+Jorge Orta, the first comprehensive exhibition of work by the French wife/husband collaborative duo in the United States, from September 6 through December 16th. Better known in Europe than in the U.S. and best known as sculptors, the Ortas’ deeply engaging and witty assemblage works draw from an eclectic array of mass-produced materials from everyday found objects (such as containers, conduits, and utensils), transport vehicles, and vintage Red Cross boxes, which are humorously conjoined and combined with their custom fabric wearables, water bottles, food preserves, and Limoge ceramic plates. Video installation, sound, preparatory drawings, and flags hung outside the Arts Center and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy round out this thematic retrospective of three major bodies of their work—Hortirecyling, OrtaWater, and Antarctica.

Guest curated by Judith Hoos Fox and Ginger Greg Duggan (c2-curatorsquared), Food—Water—Life will travel nationally through spring 2015 to the Zilkha Gallery, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT, the Herbert F. Johnson Museum, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, Los Angles, CA, and the Richard Peeler Arts Center, DePauw University, Greencastle, IN. The tour has been organized by the Tufts University Art Gallery as a strategic initiative to expand the visibility and reputation of the visual arts at Tufts and to develop a consortium of university art museum partners. Two more venues may be added to the tour; for more information, please contact Tufts Director of Galleries and Collections Amy Ingrid Schlegel, Ph.D. ([email protected]). The Tufts presentation of Food—Water—Life is supported by the School of Arts and Sciences and the Consul General of France in Boston.

The accompanying publication Lucy+Jorge Orta/Food—Water—Life was published in 2011 by Princeton Architectural Press with contributions from Judith Hoos Fox and Ginger Gregg Duggan (c2 | curatorsquared), Hou Hanru, Ellen Luptan, and Zoe Ryan, and is available for purchase for 40 USD (plus shipping) from the Tufts University Art Gallery or directly from; 192 Pages, 300 color illustrations.

A public opening reception will take place on Tuesday, September 11 from 5:30 to 8pm, with 15-minute spotlight tours from 5:30 to 6:30 given by Tufts students from the Gallery’s Voice Your Vision! Guided tour program. The Ortas will give a free, public lecture, to be held at the Alfond Auditorium at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, on October 30 at 12:30pm.

Public Events include:

Opening reception
Tuesday, September 11, 5:30–8pm
15 minute spotlight tours 5:30–6:30pm

Urban Homesteading Workshop
Tuesday, October 11, 6–8pm
Learn how to make your own non-toxic cleaning products.

Pickling Workshop
Tuesday, October 16, 6–8pm
Every participant will leave with a jar of picked vegetables.

Droplets: Short Talks And Performances On H20
Thursday, November 8,
Presented by Tufts students; music and reception to follow.

Urban Foraging Walking Tour
Saturday, October 27, 11–12:30pm
Learn to forage plants on the Tufts Medford campus.

Lucy Orta Lecture
Tuesday, October 30, 12:30pm
Alfond Auditorium, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
465 Huntington Avenue

Workshops have limited space; RSVP to [email protected]
For a full list of events, visit

The Tufts University Art Gallery animates the intellectual life of the University and greater communities through collections, exhibitions, and programs that explore new, global perspectives on art and art discourse. The mission of the University’s permanent art collection and the intra-university art loan program is to enhance the everyday lives of members of the Tufts community by augmenting the presence of art on campus.

*Image above:
Lucy+Jorge Orta, OrtaWater-Fluvial Intervention Unit, 2005. Canadian maple wood canoe, steel structure, glass helves, copper and plastic tubes, gloves, 4 buckets, 4 crates, 4 water drums, 2 water tanks, 2 light projectors, 4 flasks, copper tubes and taps, audio mp3, speakers, 24 OrtaWater bottles, 102.5 x 200.75 x 4.25 inches. Courtesy of the artists and Galleria Continua, San Gimignano / Beijing / le Moulin. Photography: Gino Gabrieli.


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