Libia Castro & Ólafur Ólafsson | Malaga, Spain
Libia Castro & Ólafur Ólafsson
Su destrucción creativa se deshará a sí misma
La casa Invisible, Calle Andrés Pérez, 8, 29008 Málaga, Spain
Opening on Saturday May 19th at 19:30 with a conversation between Libia and Ólafur and the Spanish artist Rogelio López Cuenca.
Multidisciplinary artists, Libia Castro and Ólafur Ólafsson (Spain/Iceland) work together since 1997, and live in Rotterdam and Berlin. In their works they use different types of techniques, including video, photography, installation, esculpture and text.
They sound out the extent of the socially and legally permissible, and challenge rules and conventions. Sensitive to the context and places where they work , this often stems from collaborations with other people and contains implicit calls to active participation in collective processes. Their works address issues that concern us as citizens and subjects, culturally, politically and socially, such as identity and nationality, precarious labour and the the economy, immigration, the ways in which our cities are constructed and destroyed, political lobbying, the vindication of rights and the process of collective decision making.
In one of their recent works, Constitution of the Republic of Iceland, they focus on the constitution that currently governs civic life in Iceland and its reform. In contrast, that part of identity as citizens that Castro and Ólafsson preserve in this work is negated in the campaign Your Country Doesn’t Exist, alluding to the numerous existing paradoxes that spring from the concept of the nation and the nation state as a construct. They first displayed this slogan in Platform Garanti Contemporary Art Center of Istambul (SALT) in 2003, coinciding with the invasion of Iraq, and since then they have been conducting their public campaign through divers formats and variations in different contexts, languages and countries. Most recently at the Prizen Biennal, Kosovo, in 2017.
The slide series Demolitions and Excavations consists of pictures taken in Málaga, for their project and exhibition Un elemento más (2002) in the gallery Alternativa Siglo XXI, and curated by Natalia Bravo. Among other things, they depict everyday life in a city under the destruction of their poor neighbourhoods by real estate speculation and gentrification processes, together with the temporary chaos produced by a garbage strike that shook the city.
In La Casa Invisible they also exhibit two video works: Lobbyists (2009), filmed in the European Parlament, it’s a musical video that portraits those who work in the lobbies to influence legislators in favor of big companies and those anti-lobbying activist conducting their protest in Bruxelles. Illusion Woman-Study # 1 (2016), a work of fiction, it’s the fist public appearance of heroin/anti-heroin Illusion Woman. Written by Nina Power (British philosopher, activist and feminist) with Libia and Ólafur, is a plea and manifesto, reflecting on the socio-economic and political situation since the financial crash of 2008.
Libia Castro & Ólafur Ólafsson represented the Icelandic Pavilion curated by Ellen Blumenstein (DE), with the exhibition Under Deconstruction at The 54th Biennale di Venezia (2011), and won with their video work Lobbyists (2009) the Basis Price Prix de Rome 2009 in The Netherlands.
They have presented their works in the outdoor public space in different cities across Europe and beyond and had solo interventions and exhibitions at various venues including: The National Gallery of Iceland (2016/12), KW – Institute of Contemporary Art, Berlin (2016), TENT Art Center, Rotterdam (2013), CAAC Seville (2011/12), The Living Art Museum Reykjavik (2010), Kunstler Haus Bethanien Berlin and The Reykjavik Art Museum (2008), CAC Málaga (2007), De Appel CAC Amsterdam (2004) and Platform Garanti CAC Istanbul (2003). As well as they´ve shown in group exhibitions including: Witte de With CAC Rotterdam (2018), The Reykjavik Art Museum (2017), Galeria Nova, Zagreb (2016), KW-Institute of Contemporary Art, Berlin (2015), The National Museum of Contemporary Art Oslo (2014), Secession Vienna (2014), NGBK Berlin (2013), Museum of Contemporary Art Thessaloniki (2012), Matadero Madrid (2010), Zacheta National Gallery Warsaw (2009), De Appel CAC (2009) Van Abbe Museum Eindhoven (2008), CAC Vilnius (2006) and Witte de With Rotterdam (2004).
They have participated in art festivals and Biennials including, The Future of Borders – Autostrada Biennial, Prizren, Kosovo (2017), „Asyl des müden Europäers”- Wiesbaden Biennial (2016),
You Imagine What You Desire -19th Sydney Biennale (2014), The Unexpected Guest – The 7th Liverpool Biennial (2012), Favored Nations -Momentum 5th Nordic Biennial (2009), Principle Hope – Manifesta 7- The European Biennial, Trentino (2008), Material Time/Work Time/Life TimeTime – The Reykjavik Art Festival (2005) and Arte con La Vida – 8th Havana Biennial, Havana (2003).