Fernando Ortega, Piano, 2007, Framed photograph, 50 x 40 cm (framed).

Keeping the Faith and Following Everyday Irrational Thoughts

Fernando Ortega, Hummingbird induced to a deep sleep, 2006, Video transferred to DVD.

Fernando Ortega, Auto Focus, 2003, Single channel digital video with sound, dimensions variable.


Lisson Gallery
52-54 Bell Street
+ 44 (0)20 7724 2739
Fernando Ortega
November 26, 2008-January 17, 2009

Fernando Ortega works with a diverse range of media and often directs his gaze to situations normally unnoticed, ordering images or objects into scenarios that generate powerful encounters, bridging sensory and intellectual experiences. Through rearrangement objects and images into new configurations, Ortega's sculptures and installations investigate the limits of visual representation and the borders of sound and the audible.

For his exhibition at Lisson Gallery Ortega is developing a new body of work that will encompass installation, sculpture and photography. This exhibition will follow a major survey exhibition of Fernando Ortega's work at MUCA, Mexico City, curated by Patrick Charpenel and accompanied by a catalogue featuring essays by Jens Hoffmann and Michel Blancsubé.

In the making of his work, Ortega seems to share Sol LeWitt's conviction that "irrational thoughts should be followed absolutely and logically." Ortega's practice sees the artist thoroughly pursue an idea that can at first appear unachievable due to technical difficulties or practical impediments. At the same time his works rely on fortuitous and apparently inconsequential circumstances. At the 50th Venice Biennale in 2003, Ortega's electric fly-killer, hung up high under the ceiling, cut the space's power supply each time an insect was electrocuted, causing a momentary blackout within the space. Earlier this year at Museo de arte Carrillo Gil in Mexico City, Ortega realised Assisted Levitation, for which a tower crane was erected holding a bird feeder. A hummingbird attracted by the honeyed nectar would reach it, and perch on it, before flying away. Seeking a sense of equilibrium while undermining conventional assumptions, the works play between the factual and the intangible.

Fernando Ortega was born in Mexico in 1971, where he lives and works. Ortega has had solo exhibitions at Bonner Kunstverein, Germany; Ludwig Foundation, La Habana, Cuba; and Centro de la Imagen, México City. He has exhibited in group exhibitions internationally including Malmö konstmuseum, Malmö; Istanbul Modern, Turkey; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; and BE-PART, Platform voor actuele kunst, Waregem, Belgium.

Fernando Ortega, Let me introduce myself, 2000, Black and white photograph, 162 x 242 x 5.5 cm.

Fernando Ortega, Untitled, 2007, Glass vitrine, snorkel, 160 x 45 x 45 cm.