Uriel Orlow lives and works in London and Lisbon. His practice is research-based,process-oriented and multi-disciplinary including film, photography, drawing and sound. He is known for single screen film works, lecture performances and modular, multi-media installations that focus on specific locations and micro-histories and bring different image-regimes and narrative modes into correspondence. His work is concerned with residues of colonialism and plants as political actors.
Uriel Orlow’s work also has been presented in many international survey shows including the 54th Venice Biennale (2011), Manifesta 9 and 12, Genk/Palermo(2012, 2018), Kathmandu Triennale 2077 (2022), British Art Show 9 (2021-2002),Thailand Biennale (2021-2022), Vienna Biennale (2021), Taipei Biennale (2020),Lubumbashi Bienniale (2019), 13th Sharjah Bienniale (2017), 7th Moscow Biennale(2017), EVA Biennale (2016, 2014), 8th Mercosul Bienniale, Brazil (2011) amongst others. Monographic publications include Conversing with Leaves (ArchiveBooks, 2020), Soil Affinities (Shelter Press, 2019) and TheatrumBotanicum (Sternberg Press, 2018).
Portrait credit: Masimba Sasa
Images 2 | photo credit: Norbert Miguletz
Image 3 | photo credit: Stefan Altenburger
Image 4 | photo credit: Uriel Orlow
Single-channel video installation, 1 minute 20 seconds.
Dedication is a paean to the symbiotic relationship between root systems of plants and fungi, evidently an underacknowledged basis of life for us too. They form social, cooperatively functioning systems that communicate with each other underground across kingdoms. Like superorganisms, they exchange nutrients and water, or warn each other of pests, communicating vitality and vulnerability in a communal exchange. This traditional knowledge of networks and interdependencies governing natural systems, now scientifically proven, was forgotten with humanism, the Enlightenment and subsequent industrialisation, when humans began to exploit nature as the “crown of creation.” Communal exchange and mutual care inherent in the symbiotic mechanisms of the plant kingdom, could also illuminate alternative models for human societies. Our systems designed for egoism and isolation are metaphorically contrasted with naturally existing mutualist modalities. As a part of nature, humanity gains a potential for resistance, adaptation and regeneration.