Prix de Rome Awarded in Netherlands:
Libia Castro and Ólafur Ólafsson among the Winners
Castro and Ólafsson have been collaborating together since 1997, with a conceptual approach their works explore, through different media, specific places, everyday life and often social-political contexts, frequently involving considerable research into a given subject area. In 2008, for example, the artists developed their work “Caregivers”, emphasising the role of Ukrainian women working as caregivers in Italy. This video combined footage that the artists shot in two homes in northern Italy, with shots of an Icelandic operatic group performing a cantata of a found article written by journalist Davide Berreta and composed by Karólína Eiríksdóttir especially for the video.
In their latest work, Castro and Ólafsson portray lobbyists performing under working conditions, exploring the maelstrom surrounding their activity in Brussels and Strasbourg. In preparation for their work, the artists studied historical and contemporary sources constructing the figure of the lobbyist, interviewed and filmed a variety of people associated with lobbyist associations and civilian ‘watchdog’ groups, and dug into registration and music videos. They commissioned British reporter Tamasin Cave to write an article about the current situation, worked with British actress Caroline Dalton and the Icelandic reggae group Hjálmar to perform this text as a new song and the soundtrack to their video.
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