International artists in residence give first Art Talk at SCA

4 March 2014

Artist duo Libia Castro and Ólafur Ólafsson, from Spain and Iceland respectively and current artists in residence at Sydney College of the Arts in Rozelle, will give the first Art Talk of 2014 on Thursday 6 March.

Based in Berlin and Rotterdam, Castro and Ólafsson were among five artists who withdrew from the 19th Biennale of Sydney last week. Their statement can be found here.

Castro and Ólafsson are recognised for collaborating with and portraying people from all walks of life. Among their works is the ongoing project Your Country Doesn´t Exist, which was started in Istanbul in 2003, the beginning of which year was marked by global antiwar protests against the invasion of Iraq by the US and its allies.

Whilst in Sydney the artists are working on a biomorphic audio sculpture with psychologist Nina Melksham and The Refugee Art Project - a grass-roots advocacy organisation that nurtures and exhibits the artwork and self-expression of refugees and asylum seekers within the Australian community and detention centres.

The artwork entitled Bosbolobosboco #6 (Departure-Transit-Arrival) will invite visitors to sit or lie and listen to the audio incorporated into the sculpture. The recordings are from refugees describing images from memories of their journey, from their departure, transit and arrival.

As part of the SCA Art Talk this Thursday 6 March at 1pm, Castro and Ólafsson will speak to SCA students and the general public about their art practice, their Sydney art project and past works at international shows including their exhibition Under Deconstruction in the Icelandic Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale in 2011.

Event details:

What: Art Talk: Libia Castro and Ólafur Ólafsson

Where: Sydney College of the Arts, Kirkbride, Balmain Road, Lilyfield

When: Thursday 6 March 2014, 1-2pm

Cost: Free

About Libia Castro and Ólafur Ólafsson

Castro and Ólafsson (Spain/Iceland), collaborating since 1997, are based in Rotterdam and Berlin. Their recent exhibitions include Asymmetry (solo), TENT, Rotterdam, NL, 2013, curated by Adam Budak, The Unexpected Guest, Liverpool Biennial, UK, 2012, curated by Lorenzo Fusi, Under Deconstruction (solo), Icelandic Pavilion, 54th Venice Biennial, IT, 2011 curated by Ellen Bluemenstein, Tu país no existe (solo), CAAC Sevilla, ES, 2011, curated by Juan Antonio Alvarez, Principle Hope, Manifesta 7, Trentino - South Tyrol, IT, 2008, curated by Adam Budak, Be(com)ing Dutch, Van Abbe Museum, NL, 2008, curated by Annie Fletcher and Charles Esche. Their video Lobbyists was awarded the Basis Prize of the Dutch art prize the Prix de Rome in 2009.

About their Art Practice

Libia Castro and Ólafur Ólafsson's artistic practice concentrates on the phenomena of transition towards the post-fordist phase of political, social and cultural development. Exclusion and exploitation appear as one of the main issues in Castro and Ólafsson's critique of flexible subjectivities, under pressure of the decline of the nation-state and the rise of global markets and corporations.

In their work - executed across media and a variety of genres and disciplines, from political history, through gender studies and sociology and often made in collaboration with other artists, professionals, local citizens, decision makers, activists and refugees alike, the artists critique an injured world of non-belonging and denied participation. By destabilising the established symbolic structures of late-capitalist society, Castro and Ólafsson reengage their audience with disaffected cultural topos, emancipating both the work and its viewers from the societal dogmas that subversively inform the artists' practice.

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