Art in the context of climate change

The "Antarctic Village" of Studio Orta was created in February and March 2007, the last months of summer in the Antarctic. The temporary (uninhabited) camp containing 50 igloo tents is intended to be a reminder of the situation of refugees all over the world who often have to find shelter in extremely inhospitable regions in their search for freedom and protection against war and the actions of criminals. Fragments of national flags as well as pieces of clothing from many different countries had been attached to the hand-sewn tents.

In summer 2009, works from Studio Orta and others will be on show in the Motive Gallery in Vienna (5.-11.5.) during the Vienna Art Week, in the New Art Gallery in Walsall (until 19.7.), at the Institut Supérieur pour l’Etude du Langage Plastique in Brussels (until 25.7.) and in the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (until 22. August).

"OrtaWater", for example, is a series of installations that retrace the worldwide water circuit and its ramifications for society. The works of art, which often fill up the entire room in which they are placed, consist of steel frames, hoses, boats, bicycles and all kinds of vessels for holding water. "OrtaWater came to be because of the fact that the planet is thirsty" is the commentary in the exhibition catalog. "Water is the origin, the source of life [?] It is everything: survival and well-being. And it is everywhere, around us and inside us. And yet a billion people suffer the tragic consequences of not having access to clean water."
For a long time, climate change was ignored by the fine arts. Many artists were more interested in social critique or self-reflection than in a creative consideration of the future of our ecosphere. Anyone who pursued an ecological approach as an artist tended to focus on the issues of "classical" nature conservation: air and water pollution or the effect of environmental toxins on the human body.
However, this situation is now changing very rapidly and Lucy + Jorge Orta belong to the avant-garde of a new generation of eco artists. Their 'interventions' are enacted at the point of intersection of sculpture, installation art and architecture. They deal with the melting of the Antarctic glaciers as well as with the worldwide water shortage and the fate of migrants and the homeless.
Global warming, water shortages and social disequilibrium are the main themes of the British/Argentinian artist duo Lucy + Jorge Orta. In summer, their works will be on show in perse places in Europe.
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