Uriel Orlow is known for his modular multi-media installations that take specific locations and events as starting points and combine archival research with evocative photography, moving image and sound.
The Short and the Long of It (2010-12), currently on view at Towner Eastbourne in the exhibition Land and Sea (13 September 2014 – 18 January 2015) was presented by the Contemporary Art Society to Towner’s Collection with the support of the V&A Purchase Grant Fund in 2014. The multi-part installation is based on an event that is mostly absent from official histories: the failed passage of 14 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, it took eight years before the ships were able to leave the canal when it re-opened in 1975. While stranded, 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 new social system. Although the focus and starting point of this work is a real event, Orlow is more interested in providing interpreted insights rather than revealing the whole picture through a purely archival presentation. Using a range of media, including film, slide projections, and photography, he encourages the viewer to engage with the event through the layers and components of his work.
As part of CAS Talks supported by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Orlow will be in a conversation with independent curator, freelance writer and art critic Chris Fite-Wassilak at Towner Eastbourne on 29 November 2014. Click HERE for more information on this talk.
Also currently on view is a work which formed part of the Brighton Photo Biennial 2014 at the de la warr pavilion in Bexhill. Orlow was invited to reinterpret how social, cultural and political inclinations have shaped the content of the archive of the iconic photography agency Magnum, which or the first time in its history, has opened its London office’s resin print archive to contemporary practitioners. Click HERE for more information.
Since 2008 Orlow’s work has been shown in public galleries and museums including Whitechapel Gallery and Gasworks London, Palais de Tokyo and Bétonsalon Paris, Les Complices Zurich, Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart, Extra-City Antwerp, CIC Cairo, Kunsthalle Budapest, Jewish Museum New York, Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago amongst others. Orlow received the 2012 Swiss Art Award at Art Basel. He is currently a senior research fellow at University of Westminster and visiting artist at HEAD, Geneva.