Orlow studied at Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design London, the Slade School of Art, University College London and the University of Geneva, completing a PhD in Fine Art in 2002.
His practice is research-based, process-oriented and multidisciplinary including film, photography, drawing and sound. He is known for single screen film works, lecture performances and modular, multi-media installations that focus on specific locations and micro-histories and bring different image-regimes and narrative modes into correspondence. His work is concerned with residues of colonialism, spatial manifestations of memory, blind spots of representation and plants as political actors.
Orlow’s work was presented at major survey exhibitions including the 54th Venice Biennale (2011), 8th Mercosul Biennial, Brazil (2011), Aichi Triennale (2013); Manifesta 9 in Genk (2012); Bergen Assembly (2013), Qalandia International (2014) EVA International (2014, 2016), 13th Sharjah Biennial 13 (2017), 7th Moscow Biennial (2017), Manifesta (2018), Lumumbashi Biennial (2019).
Institutional solo exhibitions include La Loge, Brussels (2020), Kusnthalle Mainz; Tabakalera, San Sebastian (2019), Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers, Paris; Kunsthalle St Gallen(2018), PAV – Parco Arte Vivente; Parc Saint Léger centre d’art contemporain (2017), The Showroom, London (2016), Castello di Rivoli, Turin (2015), John Hansard Gallery, Southampton ; Depo, Istanbul (2015), Spike Island, Bristol (2013), CCS Paris ; Al-Ma’mal Foundation, Jerusalem; Les Complices*, Zurich; Kunstmuseum Bern @ Progr (2013), Centre PasquArt Bienne (2012), Kunstforening, Oslo (2012).
Orlow’s work has also been shown in museums, galleries internationally including in London at Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Whitechapel Gallery, ICA and Gasworks; in Paris at Palais de Tokyo, Fondation Ricard, Maison Populaire, Bétonsalon; in Zurich at Kunsthaus, Les Complices, Helmhaus and Shedhalle; in Geneva at Centre d’Art Contemporain and Centre de la Photographie; at Kindl, Berlin; Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart; Alexandria Contemporary Art Forum (ACAF) and Contemporary Image Collective (CIC) Cairo; Tabakalera, San Sebastian; Project Arts, Dublin; Casa del Lago, Mexico City; Kunsthalle Budapest, Jewish Museum New York, Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago and Charles Scott Gallery, Vancouver amongst many other venues.
In 2020, Orlow received the CF Meyer Prize and in 2017 he received a Sharjah Biennial Prize. He was also awarded in 2015 with the art prize of the City of Zurich and three Swiss Art Awards at Art Basel. He was shortlisted for a Jarman Award (2013).
In 2018, Sternberg Press published a major monograph ‘Theatrum Botanicum’ and in 2019, Shelter Press published ‘Soil Affinities’.