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Exhibitions

Choreography of the Frame | Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Vienna

The exhibition Choreography of the Frame investigates and negotiates positions and strategies of image production – through conceptual or technical frameworks and shifts in the context of photography and moving image, images and statements are redefined and re-contextualised. The dissolution of established genre ascriptions, borders, and frameworks by individual artistic practices and strategies calls for a re-examination of the image.

Be it an enlarged photograph that takes on the dimensions of a wall or a space, a photograph that is folded into a sculpture, a photographic or filmic work that expands the mise-en-cadre to include or thematise the underlying conditions of image production – in all of the exhibited works the conventions are suspended, while the production process itself and its mechanisms, logics, and conditions are brought into focus.

With works by Marwa Arsanios, Gwenneth Boelens, Maia Gusberti, Yasmina Haddad, Herbert Hofer, Tatiana Lecomte, Gabriela Löffel, Claudia Märzendorfer, Charlotte Moth, Uriel Orlow, Pascal Petignat / Martin Scholz, Klaus Scherübel, Michaela Schwentner, Lina Selander

Curated by Maia Gusberti and Michaela Schwentner


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A grammar built with rocks | Human Resources, Los Angeles

A grammar built with rocks presents artistic practices that trace the racialized and gendered relationship between bodies and land, and question narratives of socioecological crisis that contribute to the displacement and erasure of people and collective formations. With Carmen Argote, Julien Creuzet, DAAR (Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency), Sandra de la Loza, Regina José Galindo, Adam Khalil, Zack Khalil and Jackson Polys, Zara Kuredjian, Uriel Orlow, Gala Porras-Kim, Susan Silton, and Cauleen Smith.


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Soil Affinities | Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers, Paris

Soil Affinities presents the fruits of Uriel Orlow’s research residency over 2017 and 2018 in Aubervilliers north of Paris and in West Africa (Senegal and Mali), and returns to Aubervilliers’ 19th century market gardening past which ended when the factories started to take over, around the same time as European countries, including France, began to develop a colonial agriculture in Africa whose roots reach into our post-colonial present.


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Digital Ecologies Chapter One | SKLAD and The Ancient Bath, Center of Contemporary Art, Plovdiv

Art Today Association’s project “Digital Ecologies” is an exhibition that, by employing the means of art, is exploring the interaction between electronic technologies and urban environment in its complexity. The project will have two editions in 2018 and in 2019.

Operaismo Naturale: Ecology of the Event (27 July – 31 August 2018, at SKLAD and at Ancient Bath) is an exhibition accompanied by a series of talks, art interferences and performances.

The concept behind the two editions comes from the project curator, Dimitrina Sevova (Switzerland/Bulgaria), in collaboration with Katharina Swoboda (Austria) and Emil Mirazchiev (Bulgaria).


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Subcontracted Nations | A.M. Qattan Foundation, Ramallah​

Subcontracted Nations is a group exhibition that questions differing concepts of nation. In these times, we are seeing major transformations in these concepts through rhetorical and political discourse across many corners of the globe.

The exhibition draws its title from the proliferation of the processes of sub-contracting found in our world today―whether it is the sub-contracting of health services, or the privatisation of public resources including education. These processes have been instrumental in the fragmentation and compartmentalisation of public services and the diminution of the role and obligations of the state.

Another question the exhibition will pose is how the different forms of neoliberal orders in societies are being kept within socially and economically acceptable limits, in a manner considered optimal for preventing dissent and thus serving to maintain the delusion of social agency. The effects of these neoliberal mechanisms have become intrinsically entrenched in the production of day-to-day relationships, from family to sexual relations, to the status of citizenship and the structure of politics. This imposition of neoliberal mechanisms has contributed in numerous ways to the transformation of the individual through reformatory techniques, pre-designed lifestyles, dependency, and so forth.

Curated by Yazid Anani, featuring works by Ahed Izhiman, Ahmed Hamed, Alexandra Handal, Bashar Alhroub, Bashir Makhoul, Bisan Abu Eisheh, Dirar Kalash, Essa Grayeb, Habib Asal, Iyad Issa, Jonas Staal, Jumana Abboud, Khaled Jarrar, Lara Baladi, Larissa Sansour, Majdi Hadid, Manal Mahamid, May Odeh, Mirna Bamieh, Naeem Mohaiemen, Nida Sinnokrot, Noor Abed, Rima Essa, Sarah Beddington, Sliman Mansour, Taysir Batniji, Uriel Orlow, Vera Tamari, Vladimir Tamari, Waseem Fouad, Yazan Khalili and others.

The London Open 2018 | Whitechapel Gallery, London

The London Open 2018 brings together critical and dynamic art that reflects on the experience of living in a global city now. This triennial open submission exhibition features 22 artists working across painting, sculpture, performance and video. With works by Larry Achiampong, Rachel Ara, Gabriella Boyd, Hannah Brown, Rachael Champion, Gary Colclough, George Eksts, Ayan Farah, French & Mottershead, Vikesh Govind, Richard Healy, Des Lawrence, Tom Lock, Céline Manz, Uriel Orlow, Rachel Pimm, Renee So, Alexis Teplin, Elisabeth Tomlinson, Jonathan Trayte, Tom Varley and Andrea Luka Zimmerman.


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Manifesta 12: The Planetary Garden | Palermo

Throughout history, the city of Palermo has been a laboratory for diversity and cross-pollination.  Continuous migration – from the Ancient Greeks, the Arabs and the Normans to the recent arrival from Northern Africa, South East Asia and the Middle East – has constantly redefined the city and its people. Palermo’s streets, architecture, parks, cultural legacy and personal histories are the result of a long-lasting syncretism of cultures across the Mediterranean and beyond.

Manifesta 12 in 2018 will also dialogue with the ephemeral components of Palermo’s life. Honouring the city’s long tradition of storytelling – or canta storie – through a series of new narrative productions about the city’s hidden networks. Recognising Santa Rosalia procession as a territory of contemporary syncretism, dialogue and celebration. Supporting existing initiatives to provide spaces for public hospitality. Mobilising its rich collection of archives to disclose untold stories on the city and its characters.

New commission presented in exhibition curated by Bregtje van der Haak, Andrés Jaque, Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli, and Mirjam Varadinis. Featuring works by Maria Thereza Alves, Jelili Atiku, Coloco & Gilles Clement, Cooking Sections, John Gerrard, Uriel Orlow, Khalil Rabah, Rotor, Marinella Senatore, Giorgio Vasta and others.


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Yinchuan Biennale | MOCA Yinchuan

The second Yinchuan Biennale “Departing from the Desert – Ecology on the Border” is conceived with the aim of measuring itself against a specific geo-historic context, and proposed as a form of minor language within the biennale system, Starting from the Desert seeks to respond to contemporary urgencies (not only in China) by adopting an “archaeological method.”

The Biennale’s framework is articulated over four, interdependent (and often overlapping) thematic areas that, without seeking to limit or circumscribe, attempts to visualize their material and immaterial aspects: Nomadic Space and Rural Space, Labor-in-Nature and Nature-in-Labor, The Voice and The Book, Minorities and Multiplicity .

Curated by Marco Scotini, with Andris Brinkmanis, Paolo Caffoni, Zasha Colah, and Lu Xinghua. With works by over 80 artists including Can Altay, Said Atabekov, Erick Beltrán, Alighiero Boetti, Filipa César, Emory Douglas, Duan Zengqu, Miriam Ghani, Raphaël Grisey, Silima Hashimi, Kiluanji Kia Henda, Hiwa K, Li Fenglen, Liu Ding, Adrien Missika, Pedro Neves Marques, Uriel Orlow, Kyong Park, Marjetica Potrč, Song Dong, Zheng Bo and others.


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Infected Landscapes | M.1 Hohenlockstedt

Landscapes hint at demarcations and serve communities; are depositories of memories and states of being that allow us to make conclusions about the past and assumptions about the future; and are run through with or even constructed by computing and biochemical processes. Landscapes prompt desire and yearning. They provide an image both diffusely beautiful and alluringly disturbing. Landscapes and the shifts that occur therein foster critical reflection on the so-called anthropocene as well as observations on interaction between human and non-human players. The term landscape designates both a spatial situation and a symbolic construct; and each carries traces of multifaceted aesthetic, cultural, territorial, capitalised and subjective inscriptions. Landscapes have different effects depending on their context.

The artists’ contributions to the symposium and exhibition are a lens through which we will collectively review these constructs and discuss the extent to which we might consider landscapes to be impure and infected.

Curated by Joerg Franzbecker, featuring works by Filipa Cesar & Louis Henderson, Esther Kinsky, knowbotiq, The Many Headed Hydra, Elke Marhöfer & Mykhail Lylov, Uriel Orlow, Nguyen Trinh Thi, Sandra Schäfer, Kerstin Schroedinger, Virgilijus Šonta, Vangjush Vellahu, and Gitte Villesen.


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The Battle of Coal | Sculpture Museum Glaskasten Marl

The Sculpture Museum Glaskasten Marl includes sculpture, video and sound art, which are also reflected in the exhibition. Two plants are to be newly produced for the exhibition with a special focus on the situation of the coal mining site Marl and the Ruhr area.

Denise Ritter will record noises underground and use them to create an electroacoustic sound installation. Another site-specific video work will also address the specific conditions and phenomena of coal mining. Jeremy Deller’s video work The Battle of Orgrave is a reflected re-enactment of the heated situation at the end of coal mining in England in the late 1980s. This emotionally highly charged work reflects the economic and social contradictions of Margret Thatcher’s politics, which show a clear contrast in comparison with the development in Germany. Steve McQueen has created a video that also causes a strong physical presence in the viewer: The mining journey of black African miners in 3. 000m depth is set in its tormenting physical urgency in the picture. Coleen Alborough has created a relief-like installation that conveys an imaginative picture of South African coal mining in small scale, which also allows a comparison to the situation of the now-ending coal mining in Germany. This work is supplemented with an abstract black and white video. The more or less conventional, metal worker sculptures from the collection of Werner Bibl form the plastic counterpart and frame to the virtual media. which also allows a comparison to the situation of the now-ending coal mining in Germany. This work is supplemented with an abstract black and white video. The more or less conventional, metal worker sculptures from the collection of Werner Bibl form the plastic counterpart and frame to the virtual media. which also allows a comparison to the situation of the now-ending coal mining in Germany. This work is supplemented with an abstract black and white video. The more or less conventional, metal worker sculptures from the collection of Werner Bibl form the plastic counterpart and frame to the virtual media.


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Theatrum Botanicum | Kunsthalle Sankt Gallen

In his research-based and process-oriented artistic practice Uriel Orlow is concerned with spatial manifestations of memory and blind spots in history. At Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen Orlow is presenting his ongoing research project Theatrum Botanicum (2015–2017). The large-scale work series sees the botanical world as a stage for politics. From the viewpoints of South Africa and Europe the project shows plants as witnesses and actors in history, as dynamic agents which combine nature and humanity, rural and cosmopolitan medicine, tradition and modernity — through various geographies, histories and knowledge systems. Videos, sound works, photographs and installations illuminate botanical nationalism and other legacies of colonialism, plant migration and invasion, bio-piracy, flower diplomacy under apartheid, the role of the classification and naming of plants along with the garden planted by Mandela and his fellow inmates in Robben Island prison.


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Imbizo ka Mafavuke / Mafavuke’s Tribunal | The Edge, University of Bath

Imbizo Ka Mafavuke / Mafavuke’sTribunal, (2017) is an experimental documentary set at the edge of a nature reserve in Johannesburg. A kind of Brechtian ‘Lehrstück’, the film shows the preparations for a people’s tribunal where traditional healers, activists and lawyers come together to discuss indigenous knowledge and bio-prospecting. The protagonists in the film slip into different roles and make use of real-world cases involving multinational pharmaceuticals scouting in indigenous communities for the next wonder drug. Ghosts of colonial explorers, botanists and judges observe the proceedings.

Imbizo Ka Mafavuke / Mafavuke’s Tribunal is part of Orlow’s major new body of work and ongoing research called Theatrum Botanicum, which looks to the botanical world as a stage for politics at large through film, photography, installation and sound.

Orlow’s film installation at The Andrew Brownsword Galleries also includes film Muthi, and sound work What Plants Were Called Before They Had a Name (2016).

Muthi (2016-17), 17’00” takes us to South Africa where the artist documents the infrastructure around traditional herbal practices in Johannesburg, the Western Cape and Kwazulu-Natal. Muthi is a comment on value and practice, whilst touching on the wider issues of the loss of indigenous knowledge and tradition, in the presence of modernity.

Orlow’s sound installation What Plants Were Called Before They Had a Name (2016) re-creates an oral dictionary of plant names in a dozen South African languages, not only restituting audibility but also spirituality.


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Plant Echoes | Galleria Laveronica, Modica

In this exhibition, Orlow’s interest in how colonialist categorisation expunges indigenous systems of knowledge and belonging, took him to South Africa. Here, he found that not only did the British and Dutch re-name indigenous plants and try to eradicate as dangerous the use of herbal remedies, they also imported 9000 different exotic plants, many of which choked local flora. Orlow’s extraordinary new body of work uses plants as a potent lens through which to explore the socio-political, economic and spiritual ramifications of colonialisation.

Orlow focuses on the important role of medicinal herbs or ‘muthi’ in South African culture, with 60% of the population consulting a healer, who can choose from over 3000 plant species. With European pharmaceuticals exploiting the market for ’natural’ cures, a new front has opened in the contest of who owns what the land grows, has always grown. In ‘What Plants Were Called Before They Had A Name’ (2015-ongoing), male, female and collective voices recite the names of native plants in ten African languages, from isiZulu and SePedi to isiXhosa and Khoi, which had no legitimacy under a Latin taxonomy. ‘Language relates to politics,’ says Orlow, ‘and plant classification can be a form of epistemic violence’ In this sense, the surround sound audio piece acts as a restorative and moving oral dictionary.

‘Echoes’ (2017) is a series of photographs of dried brown sap stains on protective paper from botanical repositories in South African herbaria which date back to the colonial era of exploration. The tracings tell nothing of the traditional names or uses of the plants and highlight the imposition of a one-dimensional classification system that was revered as objective and unrivalled. It’s difficult to look at these frail residues, which contrast the tending delicacy of the botanists working amidst the cruel and murderous savagery of apartheid and colonialism before.

‘The Fairest Heritage’ (2016-17), poignantly intercepts a version of history. During his research, Orlow discovered a film made in 1963 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Kirstenbosch, the national botanical gardens of South Africa. Only three years after the Sharpeville Massacre and a year before Mandela’s incarceration for life on Robben Island, fifty international botanists toured South Africa, in a whites-only garden party. Orlow invited an African actor, Lindiwe Matshikiza, to interact with the projected images, delivering an elegantly silent addendum to the past, when the trade in exotic flowers evaded the boycott of South African goods till the late 1980s.

In this show, Orlow continues and develops his sensitive and pertinent re-working of histories, staging old documents in new settings, giving voice to those who have been muted to reconsider how agency can be re-enforced by art.

On 31. March at 14:45 there will be a film screening followed by a conversation between Uriel Orlow and Gabi Scardi at Cinema Aurora, Modica.


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