Swab Barcelona is proud to introduce its new selection committee, who will be in charge of selecting the international and local galleries participating in the general program of its upcoming tenth anniversary edition.
David Armengol (Barcelona, 1974) is an independent curator. Especially interested in the condition of artist and the functionality and/or dysfunctionality of art. In recent years he has worked on projects derived from a narrative and performative reading of the exhibition space. He has exhibited in institutions such as the Fundació Joan Miró, Matadero Madrid, Caixaforum Barcelona, Fabra i Coats Contemporary Art Center, Tabacalera Madrid or EAC Contemporary Art Space in Montevideo, Uruguay. He served as curator of the 2015 and 2016 editions of Swab Seed, a section devoted to independent proposals.
What interests you the most about a new artist?
I understand that novelty is a precious commodity in the fair context, but I honestly have a hard time thinking in terms of "what's new". My surprise at an unknown artist is similar to discovering a song that attracts and captivates you. Something excites you, shakes you, and leads you to want to hear more, to want to know more about that musician or band. It’s easier in the music context, because you can buy their records and generate a sense of belonging. In art, that bond is more complex. In my case, as a curator, it has to do with understanding the work well, feeling its intensity, glimpsing discursive affinities. In fact, it has to do with the desire to work with him or her; it has to do with dreaming of that possibility, even if it never happens.
What medium do you think will prevail in coming years? Where are the new trends heading regarding this?
I'm not really up to date with artistic trends. They obviously exist, but I don’t consider them very relevant in the art world. I enjoy some of them, such as the comeback of painting from a conceptual rather than formal viewpoint, or the performative power of certain artistic practices, some very emergent. In that sense, I am interested in expressions that focus on temporality without forgetting the exhibition space. At the same time, I don't feel very close to others, such as those focused on technology or digital materiality.
How/Where do you see the art scene in our post-Brexit world?
I don’t think it will excessively modify the art context. Still, I’m not able to gauge its impact. I understand that maybe it has or will have a twofold effect. On the one hand, the practice: greater difficulties of mobility or permanence regarding the human and material sense, although this is nothing new. On the other, the ideological: works rooted in politics ad activism that may influence one way or another its consequences. After all, contemporary art will always be linked to what defines our present.