Uriel Orlow

Uriel Orlow employs photography, film, artefacts and extensive archival research to produce modular installations, often centred around traumatic historical events.

Recent solo exhibitions for Orlow include The Showroom, London; Made/Unmade at Castello di Rivoli; Unmade Film at John Hansard Gallery, Southampton; Time is a Place at Kunsthaus Centre PasquArt in Biel, Switzerland; Back to Back at Spike Island, Bristol; Unmade Film at Centre Culturel Swiss, Paris.

Group presentations have included Bergen Assembly; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Aichi Triennale, Japan; Manifesta 9 Limburg; Oslo Kunstforening; Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago; Prefix ICAToronto; Fondation Ricard Paris; Swiss Off-Site Pavilion at 54th Venice Bienniale and 8th Mercosul Biennial Brazil.

Uriel Orlow CV
Uriel Orlow Selected Press


Seventeen Exhibitions:

The Reconnaissance

Remants of the Future, 2010-12
Remnants of the Future

Uriel Orlow, Remnants of the Future / Plans for the Past (Diptych), 2010-12
Two channel HD video, sound
Installation view at Spike Island, Bristol, 2013 (Photo- Stuart Whipps)

Remnants of the Future is the title for a multi part project that ties together the ghost city of Mush in Northern Armenia near the Georgian and Turkish borders; a factory that once produced over 50% of the Soviet Union’s textiles and that was destroyed in the 1988 Spitak earthquake; and the nearby collection of Sergei Merkurov’s death masks of Soviet luminaries.

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Bergen Assembly 2013
Unmade Film

Installation view at Bergen Assembly, 2013

Unmade Film is an impossible film, fragmented into its constituent parts; an expansive collection of audio-visual works that point to the structure of a film but never fully become one. Unmade Film takes as its starting point the hospital Kfar Shau’l in Jerusalem. Initially specialising in the treatment of Holocaust victims–including a relative of the artist–it was established in 1951 using the remains of the Palestinian village Deir Yassin which was depopulated in a massacre by Zionist paramilitaries in April 1948.

“Upon the horrific realization that Kfar Sha’ul is in fact Deir Yassin, Orlow set out on a journey to probe the meaning of one painful event in history obliterating the other, in a context of historical intimacy between both… Orlow’s Unmade Film reconstructs a narrative of space, time and historical blind-spots that adds layers of unsettled new meaning to questions of subconscious pain, trauma and suffering in the contexts of obliterated geo-histories.” Hanan Toukan

Unmade Film was developed through long-term research and collaborative workshops with actors, musicians and teenagers in East Jerusalem and Ramallah; the resulting work combines sound, drawing, video, music and photography.

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Orlow Holy P
Uriel Orlow, Holy Precursor, 2011
Single channel HD video with sound
Edition of 5
14m 13

Orlow’s film Holy Precursor is set in and around a Kurdish village, built on the site of the ancient Armenian monastery of Surb Karapet. Partially destroyed during the Armenian genocide in 1915, the monastery was finally reduced to rubble by the Turkish military in the 1960s as part of an ongoing practice aimed at erasing all signs of Armenian cultural heritage in Turkey. The village was then built using remnants of the monastery with recycled ancient carvings now sitting alongside corrugated steel sheets. The film moves slowly and rhythmically through the village, detailing the physical spaces, inhabitants and sounds.

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The Short and the Long of It, 2010-12
The Short and the Long of It

The starting point of The Short and the Long of It is an extra-ordinary episode which has all but disappeared from official histories; namely, the failed passage of fourteen international cargo ships through the Suez Canal on 5 June 1967. Caught in the outbreak of the Six-Day War between Israel and Egypt, Jordan and Syria, the ships were only able to leave the canal in 1975 when it re-opened. While stranded for eight years, the cold-war political allegiances of the multi-national crews were dissolved and gave way to a form of communal survival and the establishment of a social system.

Image: Installation view, Palais de Toyko, Paris, 2013 (Photo- Aurélien Mole).

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Lost Wax

The Benin Project

The Benin Project revolves around the artist’s research into the trajectories of the metal cast artefacts that have become known as the Benin Bronzes, and culminates in an audience with Oba Erediauwa, the current king of Benin. The project is realised as a series of video works, a photo essay and text works, along with a text by Gilane Tawadros.

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