Marjetica Potrč's interdisciplinary practice includes site-specific projects, drawings, and architectural case studies. Her work investigates, documents, and interprets contemporary approaches to urban planning and the distribution of resources such as energy and water. Soweto House with Prepaid Water Meter was inspired by the controversy surrounding the installation of prepaid water meters in the Soweto township of Phiri in Johannesburg in 2006. The residents protested, insisting that water is a human right, not a commodity. In 2008, the Johannesburg High Court declared the prepaid water meters unlawful and ordered the city to supply Phiri residents with fifty liters (approximately thirteen gallons) of water per person per day. The case went through two appeals, and in 2009 the Constitutional Court of South Africa found the installation of the prepaid meters to be lawful. Potrč explains, “the Phiri water case shows us the future that may await other urban communities who as yet do not live under water-stressed conditions. Water is the most precious resource of our century: without water, there is no life.”
Marjetica Potrč was born in Ljubljana in 1953. She graduated from the Department of Architecture in 1977, and from the Academy of Visual Arts in 1986, both at the University of Ljubljana. Her work has been exhibited extensively throughout Europe and the Americas, including in such major exhibitions as the Venice Biennial (1993, 2003, 2009), the São Paulo Biennial (1996, 2006), and Skulptur: Projekte in Münster, Germany (1997). She has shown her work regularly at the Galerie Nordenhake in Berlin and Stockholm since 2003; among her important solo exhibitions are shows at the Guggenheim Museum in New York (2001), the List Visual Arts Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2004), the De Appel Foundation for Contemporary Art in Amsterdam (2004), the Portikus Gallery in Frankfurt am Main (2006), The Curve at the Barbican Art Galleries in London (2007), the Max Protetch Gallery in New York (2008), and the Nicolas Krupp Contemporary Art in Basel (2012).