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“Reprendre”? | Centre Pompidou, Paris

The question of the restitution of patrimonial objects is currently hotly debated in a world which is a return to the European colonial past and which questions the origin of extra-European objects torn from their original context, as well as their exposure patterns in the West. Director Susan Vogel , an expert on African art, recounts the fast-paced and tragically burlesque journey of a Fang statuette through the 20th century, since its delivery to the West. In his film The Visitor (2007), the Swiss artistUriel Orlow goes to meet Oba Erediauwa, then king of Benin, to question him on the need to repatriate or not the famous bronzes of Benin preserved in the British Museum. Finally, the Senegalese videographerFatou Kandé Senghor films a Casamance artist-ceramist, Seni Camara, whose ancestral know-how is threatened with extinction.These different films help to question the fate and transmission of confiscated objects, all too often dedicated to museification alone. 

Uriel Orlow’s film The Visitor is screened alongside Fatou Kande Senghor’s work Giving Birth, and Susan Vogel’s film, Fang: An Epic Journey, followed by an in-conversation with curator Alicia Knock


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The Art-Nature Laboratory or The Mushrooming Cabinet of Wonders | Kunsthalle Wien

Is the city a living organism? Why do oceans change color? Are glass-and-concrete skyscrapers nature, too? The fifth iteration of this interactive exhibition fzooms in on questions that revolve around the ways in which our environment is changing. We take inspiration from artists who explore climate change and natural ecosystems as well as the city as a habitat for animals, plants, and humans. Curated by Kunsthalle Wien’s art education team, Wolfgang Brunner, Michaela Schmidlechner, Michael Simku and Martin Walkner. Uriel Orlow presents the work What Plants Were Called Before They Had A Name.


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Still Present! | 12th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art

Uriel Orlow presents a newly commissioned installation at the 12th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art. Titled Still Present! and curated by Kader Attia, the Biennale gathers artists from around the globe engage with the legacies of modernity and the resulting state of planetary emergency. In addition to their works, the exhibition features historical documents, including political and activist publications from the Archiv der Avantgarden – Egidio Marzona (AdA). The contributions reveal connections between colonialism, fascism, and imperialism, and propose decolonial strategies for the future, oriented around a set of questions: How can a decolonial ecology be shaped? What role can non-Western feminist movements play in the reappropriation of historical narratives? How can the debate on restitution be reinvented beyond the return of plundered goods? Can the field of emotion be reclaimed through art?


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Rebuilding Connections | Edition VFO, Zurich

Uriel Orlow presents two new works for the June edition “Rebuilding Connections” by Edition VFO (Zurich), together with works by artists Mirko Baselgia, Olaf Breuning, Natacha Donzé, Delphine Reist, Sergio Rojas Chaves, Anouk Tschanz:

— Forest Essentials Take Two / Close-Up (Bóbe), 2022 (wood cut on Japanese paper, 46 x 62 cm, edition 12 + 4AP, produced by Hugo Amorim)
— Forest Essentials Take Two / Long Shot (Bóbe), 2022  (silkscreen print on wood, 46 x 62 cm, edition 12 + 4AP, produced by Telmo Chaparra)

Artist Talk with Uriel Orlow: Friday, 15 July 6:30 pm


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Back to the Roots | WE ARE AIA, Löwenbräukunst, Zurich

What Plants Were Called Before They Had A Name takes part of a group show with works by Ravi Agarwal, Ambra Castagnetti, Wilson Diaz, Monica Ursina Jäger, Karrabing Film Collective, Hunter Longe, Maurice Maggi, Naufus Ramirez-Figueroa, NGGAMDU.ORG in collaboration with Tomás Saraceno, organized by AIA (Awareness in Art) in Löwenbräukunst, Zurich. Curated by Martina Huber-Marthaler and Gianni Jetzer.

In the Anthropocene, processes of exploitation shape humanity’s relationship with nature. In the face of ecological crises, voices have emerged that question its legitimation. The exhibition Back to the Roots presents artistic positions that offer alternative views of ecological thinking, expanding the consciousness of earthly coexistence, thus overcoming the colonial past.

In his seminal book Decolonizing Nature, the American art historian T. J. Demos calls for new ecological art that takes local, sociopolitical, and economic aspects into account. Ecological knowledge passed on from one generation to the next has become a new point of reference in today’s debate. It points to local peoples’ know-how over long periods through direct contact with the environment. This knowledge is site-specific and often includes relationships between plants, animals, natural phenomena, landscapes, and the rhythms of everyday life.


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Plant Kingdom | Budapest Gallery

Group exhibition curated by Flóra Gadó and Dalma Eszter Kollár, with works by artists David Eisl, Marta Fišerová Cwiklinski, Kitti Gosztola – Bence György Pálinkás, Nona Inescu, Mónika Kárándi, Stella Koleszár, Dániel Máté, Barbara Mihályi, Uriel Orlow and Sergio Rojas Chaves.

The exhibition’s point of departure is the extent to which our attitude to care has changed in recent years as a result of the pandemic. Exploring the small, even invisible manifestations of caring and how it can extend to the non-human world around us, the exhibition focuses on plants. A number of artistic strategies are represented in which, through attention to and collaboration with the flora of our immediate environment, a more liveable future for more than just humans gains significance. The former symbolism of plants, flowers and fruits is replaced by current interpretations seeking a way out of contemporary crises.


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The Promise of Grass / The Gift of Dispossession | 5th Mardin Biennial, Turkey

Group exhibition curated by Adwait Singh with works by Abdessamad El Montassir, Almagul Menlibayeva, Asunción Molinos Gordo, Bhagwati Prasad, Bouba Touré with Raphaël Grisey, Deniz Uster with Burcu Yağcıoğlu, Bint Mbareh, E.B. Itso, Fatoş Irwen, Gülsün Karamustafa, İpek Hamzaoğlu, Jonas Staal, Kamen Stoyanov, Karan Shrestha, Kathyayini Dash, Lara Ögel, Marwa Arsanios, Merve Ünsal, Mikhail Karikis, Nandita Kumar, Neda Saeedi, Nejbir Erkol, Ömer Pekin, Rakhi Peswani, Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam, Sasha Huber, Selma Gürbüz , Server Demirtaş, Sibel Horada, Thukral and Tagra, Uriel Orlow, Zahra Malkani.

With a focus on the Levant — the cradle of civilisation — and its allied geographies along the ancient silk route, the exhibition will see a gathering of over 30 artists from Turkey and beyond, representing around 25 countries. Their works bring the edaphic generosity of the region as well as its syncretic bindings to bear upon its fraught present. Spread across four main venues in the old town, with a few spill-overs, the exhibition will open to the public free of charge from 20 May onwards. Through the course of the exhibition border_less, an independent archiving and publishing platform, will be keeping a cosy reading space at Sahaf Kebikeç for those who seek an extended engagement with the exhibition contents.


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Teg bët gëstu gi | 14th Dakar Biennale

Group exhibition curated by El Hadj Malick Ndiaye and Emmanuelle Cherel with projects by Hervé Youmbi, Ibrahima Thiam, Uriel Orlow / Ariane Leblanc, Alioune Diouf, Patrick Bernier / Olive Martin, Ussumane Ca, Vincent Meessen, François Knoetze and Mamadou Khouma Gueye.
Teg Bët Gëstu Gi aims to stir up the metamorphic life of objects. Teg Bët Gëstu Gi in Wolof means ‘to see or touch with the eyes’ – research. Uriel Orlow’s new commission ‘Botanique de la more, botanique de la vie’ consists of a video and a garden and engages with artefacts from the collection of the Musée Theodore Monod which are intimately connected with plants: woven baskets used to collect plants, mortar and pestle used to process leaves and roots for medicinal use or sachets of plants worn by warriors to bring them luck… Objects that testify to our entanglement with the vegetal world and that evoke the spiritual and medicinal powers of plants.

Uriel Orlow exhibits for the first time the commissioned work Botany of Death, Botany of Life (video, 2020-2022). Outside the museum walls, in the garden, we encounter Botany of Care, a medicinal garden project conceived and developed jointly by Uriel Orlow and Ariane Leblanc.


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Before · Between · Beyond. The collection in transition | Aargauer Kunsthaus, Aarau

In Concert  by Uriel Orlow will be on view during the exhibition Before · Between · Beyond. The collection in transition in Aargauer Kunsthaus, Aarau, Switzerland. The Collection — the cornerstone of the Aargauer Kunsthaus — is growing apace, and today consists of over 20,000 pieces of Swiss art dating from the 18th century to the present day. In recent years, notable donations and loans — such as those from the Ringier Collection, the Federal Collection of Contemporary Art, the Walter A. Bechtler Foundation, or from patrons of the Aargauische Kunstsammlung — have contributed enormously to the outstanding importance of the collection in the European art scene. These additions, including many works by contemporary artists, serve as a source of fresh inspiration and form surprising associations within the portfolios. Spread throughout the gallery space, the exhibition describes new narrative arcs in three chapters, reflecting the past, questioning the present, and venturing a glimpse of the future.


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Border Environments: The entangled politics of ecology and migration


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Back of My Hand | Carpintarias de São Lázaro, Lisbon

Group exhibition curated by Sara Castelo Branco, with works by Basma Al-Sharif, Diogo Evangelista, Hugo de Almeida Pinho, Ismail Bahri, João Tabarra, Julien Prévieux, Nguyễn Trinh Thi, Oscar Santillan, Sanaz Sohrabi, Uriel Orlow.

“The hand was, in more than one aspect, our destiny”, said Elias Canetti. This apparent predisposition is manifested by the fact that the hand is one of the most symbolized parts of the human body – it’s an archetypal organ to talk about the process of correspondence between theory and practice, thought and materialization. On the other hand, gestures express both ancestral elements, and symptoms or traces of a given time, revealing what we can apprehend from our own contemporary condition. Considering this context, the group exhibition Back of My Hand is based on the way in which different artists work the poetic and political potential of hand, and its relationship with certain dynamics involved in the (in)visibility of images. In this sense, this exhibition presents a series of works in which the hand appears as a mechanism of action, revelation or performativity, aiming to question certain structures of knowledge and historical narrative, and to reflect about a tensioned space between what the image makes visible, and what exists in it in resistance and unintelligibility.


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