Ausstellung von Libia Castro und Ólafur Ólafsson

Gallery Opdahl is pleased to present the first solo show of Libia Castro and Ólafur Ólafsson in our Berlin gallery space.

For this exhibition, the artist couple will show three video projects made over the last four years. The viewer can walk through the different video installations that are marked and connected by their light and the darkened space creating an atmosphere without strict ‘border lines’ separating the respective works from each other.

O ,holy times´ thousand! (2006) forms the starting point of the exhibition. The video shows a performance in Kolaportið, Reykjavik’s flea market, in which a baritone sings a deconstructed version of Iceland’s national anthem. The structure of the original text was discarded and rearranged. The result is an absurd poem. As is the case in most of the works by the artist couple, O ,holy times´ thousand! merges the official –the national anthem- with the private –a visit to the flea market; the everyday life of the market and its visitors become the unconscious scene of a Fluxus happening.

Three video-portraits of the series Avant-garde Citizens (2007) -Mpia´s Story, Janneke´s Story and Samm´s Story- present the stories of three individuals who were picked up by the police and put into a deportation centre in the Netherlands. Undocumented migrants or activists are the protagonists of these portraits. They present the conflict and tension between globalisation, freedom movements and Western protectionism to us from a personal and human perspective. The absurd mechanisms of our society and stories obscured by oppressive powers are the themes of this ongoing project. . The title is inspired by Hannah Arendt’s essay We Refugees (1943).

Caregivers (2008), the piece for Manifesta 7 in Rovereto, is a music video which combines diverse elements: private images/moments of a documentary home video, a critical but open perspective of a newspaper article and an emotional-intellectual contribution of contemporary classical music. The artists portray four women -two in-home caregivers and their 2 elderly clients-, and their relationship formed through the daily work of the caregivers from the Ukraine and Romania, hence informing us about the general situation of this particular migrant phenomenon in Italy. Music and singing facilitate the comprehension and the approach to these otherwise lost stories.

Libia Castro (Spain) and Ólafur Ólafsson (Iceland) started their collaboration in 1997 during their postgraduate studies in fine arts in Groningen (Netherlands). Ever since, they have been working using different media for diverse contexts and developing site-related themes for each of their projects, which continuously question identity and belonging.

Veranstaltungsort: Galerie Opdahl, Lindenstraße 35, 10969 Berlin, Eröffnung: 20.03 19:00 - 21:00 Uhr, Ausstellungsdaier: 21.03. - 25.04.2009.


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