07.02.2013 - 12.05.2013
Libia Castro & Ólafur Ólafsson - Asymmetry
TENT presents the first comprehensive solo exhibition in the Netherlands by the Rotterdam-Berlin based artists Libia Castro & Ólafur Ólafsson. Their survey exhibition in TENT gathers video-based, installation, sound and sculptural projects from the last decade. Libia Castro & Ólafur Ólafsson’s work can be regarded as an ongoing investigation of the way in which life, society and the individual are influenced by socio-economic and political factors. The presentation is curated by Adam Budak. A three-part symposium has been organised to accompany the exhibition (9 February, 13 March, 17 April).
Asymmetry is a guiding principle in Castro and Ólafsson's multimedia and interventionist work. They address injustice and inequality, and portray the rejected subject as well as the authoritative subject. On their journeys, the artists' research into the workings of inequality attempts to decipher laws on the distribution of power. In a quest for a universal vocabulary their installations bring together texts, languages, and traditions.
'Asymmetry' is a 10 year overview of their past installations, video works, photographs and objects, including the music videos Caregivers and Lobbyists, and the campaigns Il Tuo Paese Non Esiste (Your Country Does not Exist) and ThE riGHt tO RighT. ‘ThE riGHt tO RighT’ launched during the 7th Liverpool Biennial in 2012. A monumental neon sign reads alternately ThE riGHt tO RighT and ThE riGHt tO WrOnG, thus questioning the essence of the (human) right itself, its habit and rhetoric as well as its ownership and belonging. ‘Right’ and ‘Wrong’ blur as if producing yet another paradigm of political behaviour, discipline and ethics. Castro and Ólafsson’s neonwork is a provocative gesture which points out paradoxes of law and freedom. The project’s Liverpool iteration is accompanied by a free newspaper ‘ThE riGHt tO RighT/WrOnG which features an essay by British writer and philosopher Nina Power, who, in a dialogue with the artists, comments upon the current global political upheaval by deconstructing a ‘Universal Declaration of Human Rights’ and replacing it with a philosophy of wrong and its brand new manifesto – ‘The Partial Declaration of Human Wrongs’.
Castro and 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 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 – the artists portray an injured world of non-belonging and denied participation.
Castro & Ólafsson, collaborating since 1997, are based in Rotterdam and Berlin. In 2008 they participated in Manifesta 7 with their video work ‘Caregivers’ and in 2009, were awarded basis prize of the prestigious Dutch art prize, Prix de Rome, for their music video ‘Lobbyists’.
The exhibition is curated by Adam Budak, an independent curator and writer living in Washington DC. He was a co-curator of Manifesta7 (2008) and shall curate the Estonian pavilion with the work of Denes Farkas for the upcoming Venice Biennale. Budak was curator of modern art for the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC, and the Kunsthaus in Graz, Austria.
The exhibition is accompanied by an edition of the work The Partial Declaration of Human Wrongs. The work is for sale for €300,- ex VAT and frame. Edition of 50. The proceeds will support the exhibition van Libia Castro & Ólafur Ólafsson in TENT.
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