Atelier de résidence

Uriel Orlow : Grey, Green, Gold (and Red)

Mars 17, 2019, 15:00, Geneva, Mestrezat 7A

As part of the residency of Marie van Berchem’s bateauthèque at Utopiana, we invite you to an encounter with Uriel Orlow. He will present a lecture performance Grey, Green, Gold (and Red), followed by the presentation and launch of two recent publications Affinités des sols | Soil Affinities and Theatrum Botanicum. The books will remain in the bateauthèque.

Grey, Green, Gold (and Red) expands on the themes and concerns of Orlow’s project Theatrum Botanicum (2015-2018), considering plants and gardens as active agents in politics and history. Following human-plant entanglements, Grey, Green, Gold (and Red) explores the role played by the garden Nelson Mandela and his fellow inmates planted on Robben Island prison during their 18-year incarceration, the implications of an ongoing battle between a flower and a squirrel, as well as the fate of alien species in Europe and South Africa. 

About the publications

THEATRUM BOTANICUM, Sternberg Press, 2018

This publication is made up of two intertwining books: one documents the works of Uriel Orlow’s long term project Theatrum Botanicum, which, from the vantage point of South Africa and Europe, considers plants as dynamic agents – linking nature and humans, rural and cosmopolitan medicine, tradition and modernity – across different geographies, histories and systems of knowledge. The second is a compendium of brief, commissioned essays which either speak directly to the artworks or follow lines of inquiry alongside them, covering perspectives from postcolonial cultural studies; art criticism and art history; natural history, botany (including ethnobotany and economic botany), and conservation; jurisprudence and critical legal studies; and critical race studies.  


Affinités Des Sols | Soil Affinities explores the connections of (post) colonial history and the movement of plants for agriculture, from Aubervilliers, a northern suburb of Paris, to formerly French West Africa (Mali and Senegal). This publication and Uriel Orlow’s artistic project of the same name retrace the lines and networks of earthly connections between plants and humans through images, maps, texts, and interviews conducted in France, Senegal, and Mali over the span of two years.