Uriel Orlow @PhotoKTM5
March 11, 2023
Discover Uriel Orlow’s installation What Plants Were Called Before They Had a Name at this year’s PhotoKTM in Kathmandu.
In What Plants Were Called Before They Had a Name Orlow connects ethnobotanical resources with encounters with 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 languages, knowledge and cultural diversity and to counter the continuing epistemic violence within Western dominated knowledge systems. This 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.
PhotoKTM is open until March 31st, 2023. Don’t miss it!