Interview: Libia Castro at DOX Centre

Spanish artist's video is part of the Soul of Money group show

Spanish video artist Libia Castro was at DOX Centre for Contemporary Art to discuss her work, some of which is currently on display in the Soul of Money,

The group show, which runs to June 6, analyzes some of the implications of the grand colonization of today‘s world through the current economic model, and how commodification has succeeded in completely colonizing social life.

Castro and her collaborator Olafur Olafsson are showing the video piece “The Illusion Women study N°1.”

In it, they give their opinion on the economic, political and social world, which has become more unequal since the financial crisis of 2008. The video depicts a woman giving a speech on this situation and trying to guess the future.

“'Illusion Woman' is a fiction. The central idea is to create this heroine who is analyzing the inequalities that have increased during the last 30 years in Western societies and who is trying to envision the very near future,” Castro told Prague.TV.

“She proposes four casts of a possible future, picturing of a dystopian world or an alternative making the world more equal,” she added.

Castro and Olafsson have created other artworks denouncing the economic system and the gap between the global economy and politics based in nation states. Castro presented two more videos during a recent one-day economic conference at DOX.

“Caregivers” shows two migrant caregivers from Ukraine and Romania working with their clients in Rovereto, Italy. They do their daily chores to classical contemporary music.

“Lobbyists” is based on an article by British reporter Tamasin Cave. British actress Caroline Dalton and the Icelandic reggae group Hjalmar perform the text.

Castro and Olafsson's artworks are quite diverse. “Your Country Doesn’t Exist” is less about the economy and more about our mindset even if we can’t separate it completely.

“It is … conceived to change media and format, and it allows us to experiment with different forms and images,” she said.

“We chose the sentence 'your country doesn’t exist' and we represented it through different means and it appears in different languages in different countries, and it always reflects very different histories,” she added.

Castro, from Spain, and Olafsson, from Iceland, have worked together since they finished their masters' degrees in 1997. Their artwork is mainly focused on the transition of the post-Fordist period (the late 20th century era after the demise of Henry Ford's assembly line and the rise of a service-based economy) and on all the problems that it raises such as exclusion or exploitation.

The Soul of Money exhibition includes works from more than two dozen artists in a variety of media. 

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