DOX Centre For Contemporary Art in Prague ~ Libia Castro & Ólafur Ólafsson present new video work Illusion Woman – Study #1 at the group exhibition The Soul Of Money, till 6 June 2016

| tag: Prague

Image: Libia Castro & Ólafur Ólafsson, video still from Illusion Woman – Study #1, 2016



To walk in money through the night crowd, 
protected by money, lulled by money, dulled by money, 
the crowd itself a money, the breath money, 
no least single object anywhere that is not money, money, money 

everywhere and still not enough, and then no money 
or a little money or less money or more money, but money, always money, 
and if you have money or you don't have money
it is the money that counts and money makes money,
but what makes money make money?

- Henry Miller, Tropic of Capricorn (1939)


The world we live in is the world of money. The global machine runs on money, everything we do is related to money. In today’s world, as wealth is creating ever-wider gaps in social hierarchies and the world is facing a level of economic inequality of an unprecedented scale, money has turned into one of the greatest modern taboos.

THE SOUL OF MONEY multimedia exhibition project focuses on money as a phenomenon everybody is – willingly or unwillingly – part of. Through artworks and projects by numerous foreign and Czech artists, the project aims to explore some of the implications of the grand colonization of today‘s world through the current economic model.

The project looks at examples of the extent, variety and absurdity of the contemporary situation, in which commodification has succeeded in completely colonizing social life, and in which every act (including an artistic one) turns into a commodity. The mechanisms of the current economic model have gradually pushed people into the roles of “winners” and “losers” based on which end of the economic spectrum they occupy and, more importantly, fbased on how “good” or “bad”, “successful” or “failed” consumers they are. Even art has become a special sort of consumer goods, whose possession is supposed to demonstrate the owner's elevated cultural standing. To put it in Theodore Adorno’s words: A work of visual art is an absolute commodity, a fetish that is appraised in money because it is a unique original.

The reality that is based on this model is one to which we all have so remarkably adapted, one that seems perfectly logical, but is, in fact, utterly insane. Recognition of this can greatly influence how we respond to the world around us in our day-to-day and minute-by-minute lives.

The exhibition will present some international experiments and initiatives that offer if not a viable alternative to an unsustainable economy based on perpetual growth, then at least a much-desired shift in perspective.

Libia Castro & Ólafur Ólafsson will be showing for the first time their new video work Illusion Woman – Study #1. For this work they have again collaborated with Nina Power, who wrote the speech together with them and actress Michelle Myers is performing Illusion Woman.

"The year is 2016. 62 people own the same wealth as half the world. 1.3 billion people live in extreme poverty, on less than $1.25 a day. The 62 multi-billionaires who own the same wealth as half the world could fit on a double-decker bus. I just have one question: who is driving the bus?"

With those words Illusion Woman – a young leftist feminist heroine, or anti-heroine, for the 21st century, with, from and for the multitude – opens her first appearance, applying a dazzle mask as she speaks.

Illusion Woman´s speech, written by Nina Power, British philosopher, activist and feminist, with Libia and Ólafur, is a plea and manifesto, reflecting on the socio-economic and political situation in Europe and beyond since the financial crash of 2008, and forecasting two possible futures: Firstly, a dystopic, despotic, inhumane and coarsened world, ruled by a powerful political class, instrumentalized by the interests and the clock of an economic and financial system owned by the 1%, and secondly, a growing worldwide revolutionary alternative – a feminized, democratic and environmental insurrection – combining alternative economies, a new image of time and an active political global citizenry operating beyond nations: a transnational political environmental movement taking power in the name of peace and the end of poverty.


Thomas Hirschhorn, José Maria Cano, Jiří Georg Dokoupil, Thomas Locher,Libia Castro & Ólafur Ólafsson, Dan Perjovschi, The Krasnals, Alfredo Jaar, Nina Pohl, Marek Schovánek, Matthias Ziegler, Jota Castro, Michael Wolf, Núria Güell + Levi Orta, Benny Lam, Fernando Moleres, Richard Jones, Ian Berry, Paolo Patrizzi, Daniel Knorr, Lisa Kristine, Ján Macko, Róbert Palúch


The project comprises of public performances, documentary screenings, public space interventions, workshops, and other events.


DOX Centre for Contemporary Art
Poupětova 1, 170 00, Praha 7