Libia Castro & Ólafur Ólafsson
Opening: Thursday 10 April, 18h at the National Museum of Norway
11 April–10 August 2014
This international group exhibition presents works that explore issues to do with democracy, national identity and personal freedom. The defence of individual freedom has become a controversial topic in which the concept of the nation plays an ambiguous role.
A key theme of the exhibition is freedom of speech. The exhibition shows works by international artists with a defining interest in the opportunities, but also the threats, associated with free expression in a world still plagued by systematic violations of human rights.
Concepts such as democracy, independence and nationality are linked to contemporary discourses on culture and diversity and the struggle for freedom and liberty. Human rights and personal freedom are being challenged. Conventional notions of citizenship and nations are undergoing a transformation, where nationality, ethnicity, and even the idea of a home country are not static but negotiable.
The works being displayed express both the individual’s desire for freedom and the need for community and solidarity. How much individual freedom is respected varies not only from one country to the next, but also from one segment of a given society to the next. The exhibition touches on many themes—from sexuality and ethnic or cultural belonging, to civil disobedience and the struggle for independence. The revolutionary spirit seen in recent popular uprisings around the world can also be perceived in many of the art works.
The exhibition consists of around 130 works by 28 artists / artist collectives who work within a wide range of techniques: video, installation, photography, painting, textiles, print, and drawing. The exhibition is curated by Andrea Kroksnes and part of the museum’s exhibition series marking the bicentennial of Norway’s constitution.
Artists and artist groups represented in exhibition are John Akomfrah, Maja Bajevic, Andrea Bowers, Libia Castro & Ólafur Ólafsson, Phil Collins, Jeremy Deller, Olga Egorova and Natalya Pershina (Chto Delat), Gardar Eide Einarsson, Jihan El-Tahri, Matias Faldbakken, Rainer Ganahl, Sharon Hayes, Marianne Heier, Susan Hiller, Glenn Ligon, Jumana Manna and Sille Storihle, Aleksandra Mir, Pussy Riot, Slavs and Tatars, Superflex, Rirkrit Tiravanija and Ai Weiwei.
The exhibition is accompanied by a 150-page catalogue with artist writings and text works by Ai Weiwei, Libia Castro & Ólafur Ólafsson, Marianne Heier, Susan Hiller, Slavs and Tatars and Superflex; as well as essays by Gavin Jantjes and Andrea Kroksnes.
The Power of Words and Music
Thursday, 15 May, 17–19h
Artist talk. The artist Susan Hiller in conversation with curator Gavin Jantjes.
Pussy Riot vs Putin
Sunday, 25 May, 15–17h
Film screening and panel with the film’s directors from Gogol’s Wives Production and ex-Pussy Riot members Maria Aljokhina and Nadezjda Tolokonnikova
Thursday, 5 June, 11–19h
National Museum of Norway
Museum of Contemporary Art
Bankplassen 4, Oslo
Hours: Tuesday–Friday 11–17h,
Thursday 11–19h, Saturday–Sunday 12–17h