Uriel Orlow Porous Present (#1)
This image was taken by Uriel Orlow in 2009 during research in Armenia, ahead of making the film Remnants of the Future (2010–2012) which appeared in Orlow's 2013 Spike Island exhibition, Back to Back. It is part of a wider series of photographs taken by the artist through a car windscreen whilst driving between the capital city Yerevan and the city of Gyumri, where Remnants of the Future is set.
At this time the countryside was peppered with empty billboards awaiting their advertising content. In creating an archive of these images, the artist documents an Armenia that was preparing to open up to the free market after decades of Soviet controlled economy. This singular image documents a moment in between states when neoliberal capitalism hasn’t fully arrived but its infrastructure was being set in place. The empty billboards also operate formally as frames, delineating the landscape and clouds in the manner of Romantic painting, as well as acting as portals for the future.
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