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The Short and the Long of it (2010-12)

Uriel Orlow

multimedia installation

Towner Eastbourne



Installation, Photograph


Multimedia installation

Physical Object Description:

3 core pieces, 5 additionals elements.


dimension variable cm

Accession Number:



Presented by the Contemporary Art Society, funded by the V&A Purchase Grant Fund, Towner Eastbourne and the Contemporary Art Society, 2014

Ownership history:

Purchased from the artist by the Contemporary Art Society, funded by the V&A Purchase Grant Fund, Towner Eastbourne, 2014; presented by Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne, 2014


Suez Canal, Ships, War, Failure
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 is a multi-part installation 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.

All rights reserved. Any further use will need to be cleared with the rights holder. Permission granted to reproduce for personal and educational use only. Commercial copying, hiring, lending is prohibited.

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