Our Offices & Partners Abroad

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Visual Arts

Uriel Orlow at PhotoKTM 5

Uriel Orlow
Photo credit: Masimba Sasa

What Plants Were Called Before They Had a Name by Uriel Orlow
Photo credit: Byron Marmol

Uriel Orlow’s practice is research-based, process-oriented and often in dialogue with other disciplines. Projects engage with residues of colonialism, spatial manifestations of memory, social and ecological justice, blind spots of representation and plants as political actors. His multi-media installations focus on specific locations, micro-histories and forms of haunting. Working across installation, photography, film, drawing and sound, his works bring different image-regimes and narrative modes into correspondence.

Uriel Orlow at PhotoKTM 5
Exhibition: What Plants Were Called Before They Had a Name (Guatemala), 2019-2021
Overhead Projections, HD Video
25 Feb – 31 March 2023 | 11am – 7pm
Details here

Artist Talk + Screening: Conversing with Leaves and Listening to Ghosts
1 March 2023
3:00-4:30 PM
Yala Maya Kendra
Full schedule here

Uriel Orlow is the 2023 recipient of Swiss Grand Prix for Art / Prix Meret Oppenheim. His work has been presented at major international survey exhibitions including at the 54th Venice Biennale, Manifesta 9 and 12 in Genk and Palermo as well as at biennials in Berlin, Dakar, Kochi, Taipeh, Sharjah, Moskau, Kathmandu, Guatemala and many others.

Follow Uriel Orlow on instagram @urielorlow

In What Plants Were Called Before They Had a Name (Guatemala), presented at PhotoKTM 5, Orlow seeks encounters with different indigenous spiritual guides of the Guatemalan Altiplano and elsewhere, as a way of recovering memory and linguistic presence. Coming across a 1970’s publication by the Instituto Indigenista de Guatemala on medicinal plants in which all the plants are labeled in Spanish, the artist embarked on a journey to recover the loss of indigenous plant names and consequently of cultural diversity and to counter the continuing epistemic violence within botany and science. The project revisits the publication and opens it up to some of the many other languages which populate Guatemala: different Mayan spiritual guides write the plant names in their languages onto the pages.