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Libia & Ólafur castro & Ólafsson, libia castro & Ólafur Ólafsson
Il Tuo Paese Non Esiste (Your Country Doesn't Exist), 2011
Experimental video | | color | 16'0'' | Spain / Italy | 2011
The video "Il tuo paese non existe" is a recording of a staged public musical performance in Venice. Appropriating the cliché and reality of the gondolier and the serenade, a mezzo soprano sings a contemporary serenade acompanied by a trumpet and a guitar, while floating in a gondola through the canals of the city. The lyrics, which were composed by the artists, are comprised of the following sentence in several languages: ?This is an announcement from Libia and Ólafur: your country doesn?t exist, your country doesn?t exist?. This statement is intertwined with phrases appropriated from a text by writer and curator Antonia Majaca, in which she reflects on their ongoing project ?Your Country doesn?t Exist?. The artists collaborated with the Icelandic composer Karólína Eiríksdóttir, who wrote the score. The video was shot at various locations across the city, in the afternoon and during the golden hour on two spring days in early May. It is an edit of several versions of the performance, these having been performed over the course of the journey, against the background of the city?s everyday life and the omnipresent reality of tourism.
Berlin and Rotterdam based artists Libia Castro (Spain) and Ólafur Ólafsson (Iceland) met in the Netherlands in 1997 and have been collaborating since. Exploring the relationships between art, everyday life, sociopolitical and cross-cultural issues, the artists have built up a body of work using a variety of media. Their practice is among other 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. Castro & Ólafsson?s situated projects, often made in collaboration with other artists, professionals, local citizens, decision makers, activists and illegal immigrants alike, 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, sculpture, photography, interventions and multimedia installations. Castro & Ólafsson represent Iceland at this year´s 54th Venice Biennial. They have furthermore shown in international exhibitions at major museums, contemporary art centres, galleries and biennials. In 2008 they participated in Manifesta 7 and in 2009, were awarded third place in the prestigious Dutch art prize, Prix de Rome, for their video work Lobbyists.