Sunday, February 06, 2011

Ten for Ten: Uriel Orlow

2010 is over but we are still taking stock as we gingerly march into the new year. Art or Idiocy? has invited ten guests to each contribute a list of ten items Earlier contributors include Steve Ruiz, Danielle Paz, Nicole Mauser, Thea Liberty Nichols, Marilyn Volkman and Anthony Stepter.

Uriel Orlow is an artist based in London.
More information on what he's up to can be found at

The obsession with the new is of course old hat. A lot of the most moving, enjoyable or interesting experiences last year stemmed from re-visiting places, books, artworks, histories and ideas. So here are some of my rediscoveries from 2010 in no particular order:

* The tombs of Ti, Saqqara, Egypt (5th dynasty, around 2500 BC); forget the over-photographed pyramids at Giza - this tomb a bit further down the valley of kings, north of the stepped pyramid of Saqqara is an entire palace below the desert floor, complete with ornately decorated living quarters, food chambers and kitchen - all for the dead.

* Capital by Marx (1867), courtesy Althusser's and Balibar's excellent Reading Capital. Still relevant food for thought (and revolutions).

* Stripsody by Cathy Berberian (1966); I was reminded of this masterful and fun vocal comic strip by the work of a final year student at the art school in Geneva.

* Fassbinder's Fear Eats the Soul (1974), was as dark and unredemptive as when I watched it the first time.

* The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), recited from memory by Monica Ross in Mikhail Karikis' opera Xenon. Hearing it like this brings home how much of it has not yet been achieved

* The missing people from Lebanon (1975-1991); presented in an exhibition inside the old, domed cinema in the centre of Beirut organised by UMAM to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the beginning of the civil war in Lebanon; rows and rows of donated photographs by family members of the disappeared.

* Avant-garde, neo-minimalist Japanese fashion from the last 30 years (1980-2010) by the likes of Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto and Junya Watanabe in the Barbican show "Future Beauty"

* It'll End in Tears / This Mortal Coil (1984) with Elizabeth Frazer's haunting vocals (amongst the top most played on my iTunes)

* The fantastic century-old Kunsthaus Zürich (built in 1910) and the refreshingly old-fashioned display of its collection

* The joke of the elephant and the little mouse (?)

1 comment:

Canvas Art Lover said...

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