The Benin Project

Orlow, Uriel (2007) The Benin Project. [Show/Exhibition]

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A project on the controversial Benin Bronzes that raises questions about ownership, identity and collective memory in a post-colonial context. The project comprises a 7 screen installation, two single screen videos, 28 engravings and a video with wall drawing. In Orlow’s 6 minute looped film, Descent, an Israeli woman in the last stages of pregnancy talks about her experience of moving to Switzerland. The work takes its title from the literal translation of a Hebrew expression for emigration from Israel: Yerida. Descent explores the political realities of the Israel/Palestine conflict through the prism of emigration. Descent addresses the globalised realities of the experience of conflict by avoiding a mono-national discourse and exploring the personal and political insights made possible by the distance of living in another country, Descent presents carefully edited fragments from a longer conversation. The quick pace and sharp cutting opens up gaps which are inhabited by imagination, projection and reflection and evoke the ghosts of place, history and politics. The work consciously alludes to the format of the TV-interview but works with an actress and therefore undermines the clear distinctions between truth and fiction, documentary reality and personal story. Descent has an international exhibition history. It was included in the inaugural exhibition of a new public gallery, Artneuland in Berlin, which aimed to create a dialogue between Israeli, Palestinian and European art. It was selected for the Videonale exhibition at Kunstmuseum, Bonn; shortlisted for a Swiss Art Award and exhibited at Art Basel; shown at Nunnery/Bow Arts Trust, London; featured in the pilot issue of online video-magazine OH! alongside works by Ron Arad, Santiago Sierra; screened at the international Film Festival Locarno and at Museo Nacional Centro del Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid. Reviews include Ralph Findeisen, who praised the work, on artnet:

Item Type: Show/Exhibition
Additional Information: Also shown at BFI Southbank – New Lands exhibition/screening (16th-17th June 2007); Whitechapel Gallery – New Work UK: Trust Yourself.
Subjects: University of Westminster > Media, Arts and Design
Depositing User: Miss Nina Watts
Date Deposited: 07 May 2008 12:05
Last Modified: 08 Jun 2010 11:00

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