afternoon dust

dance & aesthetics, mostly

Uriel Orlow

Dawn breaks on the empty steppe. The skeletons of apartment blocks gleam in early light, skeletons never wrapped in skin. The ashes left by an unlit star. Among these abortions people wander, scavenge, salvage. Recuperate, recover what they can. The amber light strikes yesterday’s shadows across the walls.

A half-memory, a half-face. A present wrapped in song, half-hearted, heartfelt. Sing it again. Swallows dart and swing on singing wind. Trauma is portable: it can climb inside a song, inside a name, and travel from house to house, place to place. One star becomes another. Trauma rents an apartment in an abandoned apartment block. Two doors down from the swallows.

Swallows trapped in amber, becoming beautiful. The amber light turns every living thing into shadows. Faces trapped in plaster, becoming swallows. The skeletons do not belong to the dead, they belong to the living, who remember. The light fades, but the shadows remain. Trauma switches on his moonlight and starts the washing up, swallows finally sleeping. As he rolls up his sleeve the star on the palm of his hand becomes visible. The star had a name, before it died. He sings it to himself as he scrubs. His song leaks out of the paneless window, striking yesterday’s wind across the walls.

In some countries the roads are built in exactly the right place.

Uriel Orlow, Remnants of the Future (2010). Video, photography, drawing. Laure Genillard, London, 16th January – 10th April 2010.

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