Libia Castro & Ólafur Ólafsson

Libia Castro born in Madrid (Spagna), 1970. Ólafur Ólafsson born in Reykjavik (Islanda), 1973

Based in Berlin and Rotterdam, the artists Libia Castro and Ólafur Ólafsson have been producing work collaboratively since 1997. Castro and Ólafsson use a range of media, including sculpture, text, photography, sound, video and installation. Their practice is a.o concerned with the ways in which globalization has affected local cultures, transformed national industries and led to an increase in mobility while deepening social injustices. Often developed at the outcome of long-term residencies, Castro and Ólafsson’s situated projects serve as catalysts within given contexts. They operate by assembling, re-presenting and destabilising heterogeneous elements – specific conflicts, inconspicuous social groups, etc. – back to the host community through documentary videos, public performances, interventions and multimedia installations that beckon viewers to occupy the designated space of the work. Castro and Ólafsson’s often collaborate with other artists and professionals and their projects evolve out of conversations and friendships that they develop with local citizens, decision makers, activists and illegal immigrants alike, whose unique stories often find their way into the resulting piece, which inevitably melds art and everyday life. Their process can be likened to a form of mapping, organically expanding and gaining in precision over time as the artists collect further documents and exchanges. The resulting work often outlines a space of negotiation and rehearsal, translating urban/life experiences into a dynamic pavilion that problematizes the division between spectatorship and participation.

 

Libia Castro born in Madrid (Spagna), 1970. Ólafur Ólafsson born in Reykjavik (Islanda), 1973

Their artistic research ranges through various media to focus primarily on the use of video lately. Sensitive to the context, to its transformations, to the tensions and contradictions that run through a present in perennial redefinition, Libia Castro and Ólafur Ólafsson conceive art as a way of reading the surrounding world and feel the need to challenge themselves against automatism of situations accepted a priori. Among the global phenomena that affect them emerge those linked to the trans-cultural orientation of the current world and to its consequent mobility, which until recently was unthinkable.