Uriel Orlow

16 July 2014
The Short and the Long of It (2010-12), Installation view, Charles H. Scott Gallery, Vancouver, 2012. Courtesy the artist. Photo: Scott Massey

Towner Eastbourne

Uriel Orlow (b. 1973, Zurich, Switzerland) is based in London. Recent exhibitions include Manifesta 9 (2012), the 54th Venice Bienniale (2011) and 8th Mercosul Biennial in Brazil (2011). His work has been presented in solo exhibitions at institutions including Spike Island, Bristol (2013), Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art, Toronto (2012) and ACAF Alexandria, Egypt (2011).

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.

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


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