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Nour El Saleh - Benjamin Orlow: A thousand good mornings


Artists: Nour El Saleh - Benjamin Orlow

Installation Views

Installation image for Nour El Saleh - Benjamin Orlow: A thousand good mornings, at DES BAINS Installation image for Nour El Saleh - Benjamin Orlow: A thousand good mornings, at DES BAINS

A work never feels truly finished.

A Thousand Good Mornings presents two paintings by Nour El Saleh and two sculptural works by Benjamin Orlow. Compositions not obviously related but distributed in space and revealing one common feature: holes. Hung on the walls and laying on the floor are sets of visual documentations. A nose-line, a mandible protruding, the shape of a throat. A multitude of fingers insinuating an uncanny gesture.

A gaze – a sense of belonging. Hollows, body parts, roofs, and disparate architectures. Each reference acting as a mirror of the other. Leading us into an unexpected set of correspondences.

A greasy thick hair whorl.

Figures, made of clay, wood, bronze and paint engender sculptural prototypes within fictional homes. Weirdly familiar – universally recognisable.

Benjamin Orlow (1984, MFA Goldsmiths College 2012) works mainly with sculpture and moving image. His sculptural work has recently been shown at Horst-KANAL Centre Pompidou Brussels, Kunsthalle Kohta, Helsinki and his public sculptures have been installed in Finland, Belgium and the UK. His video work has been shown at the ICA London, the Tetley, Leeds, Kiasma, Helsinki, Fahrenheit, Los Angeles and Hordaland Kunstsenter, Norway.In addition to his artistic practice he runs the project space St. Chads, in Kings Cross, London.

Benjamin Orlow is a multidisciplinary artist known for his video works and large-scale public commissions. The representation of masculinity, patriotism, individualism, the definition of nations and nationalism are central to his artistic practice. Benjamin Orlow currently lives and works in the London.

Nour el Saleh (b. 1997, Lebanon) lives and works in London. She completed her postgraduate degree from The Royal Drawing School in 2022 after receiving a BFA at the Slade School of Fine Art in 2019. El Saleh has recently exhibited at Xxijra Hii, UK (2023), Quench Gallery, UK (2023), Edel Assanti, UK (2022), Castello di San Basillio, Italy (2022), Cassina Projects, Italy (2022); Plaza Plaza, UK (2021), V.O Curations, UK (2021); Lowell Ryan Projects, Mexico (2020); Kuva Gallery, Finland (2019); Daniel Benjamin Gallery, London (2018). She was recently in residence at Castello San Basilio, Italy, Palazzo Monti, Italy and Dumfries House, Scotland (2023).

Nour el Saleh’s works explore notions of place, belonging and selective/relative memory. Working instinctively, without creating studies, bodies; animal and humanoid, appear on the surface, where they indiscriminately meld into each other and are inseparable from the land they inhabit. El Saleh’s paintings enable her to consider the existence of a hypothetical ecosystem where skin is translucent, and the ground is in a cycle of renewal. Through this, she interacts with the denizens of her selective conscious while utilizing paint to access those fantastical worlds which can be invasively personal for both the viewer and the artist.

Installation view, Nour El Saleh - Benjamin Orlow: A thousand good mornings at DES BAINS, London, , January 26 - February 22, 2024

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