Vote. Vote for art. Vote for culture to be the driving force of our society.
This month, all eyes have been on one of the most decisive electoral processes in history. That is why today Swab seeks to distance itself from the political class and to pass the loudspeaker to the artists, and it does so by presenting a selection of the American artists of the last edition.
This month, all eyes have been on one of the most decisive electoral processes in history. That is why today Swab seeks to take a step back from the political class and give a voice to the artists, and we do so by presenting a selection of the American artists of the last edition.
Art does not understand political colours or partisanship, only expression and universality. Art is freedom.
At Swab Barcelona we proud ourselves on promoting emerging artists and acting as a platform for early career creators. This year, making a nod to the infamous 27 Club, we present a selection of our youngest participating artists, all of them under 27 years old.
Swab Barcelona has hit the equator of its first virtual edition and has welcomed visitors from all over the world to its virtual reality application. In order for you not to miss anything, we present an exclusive guide to the top 10 must-sees of Swab 2020:
Swab Barcelona 2020’s Program. The General Program, Swab Emerging and Swab Seed present galleries from all over the world in this extraordinary virtual edition.
Curated Sections. Swab Ephemeral, curated by Caterina Almirall, and Swab on Paper, curated by Carolina Díez-Cascón adapt their exhibit proposals to the digital format.
Special Programs. This year, Swab focuses on Asia, and presents, on the one hand, the Focus Korea program, featuring 4 korean spaces, and on the other hand, the South East Asian Video Box, showcasing videoart proposals by south east asian artists.
Special spaces at the fair. In order for it to be as realistic as possible, the virtual edition of Swab 2020 welcomes special spaces such as The Music Corner by MIRA, featuring spotify lists made specially for the fair, Swab Kids, an interactive space for creative kids, and Flash Flash, an area where you will be able to order food from home.
Swab Radio by Art Super. This year, Swab partners with Art Super to launch a special coverage of the fair that highlights interesting, less-known facts about it. The collaboration features interviews with artists, conversation among gallerists, and special content for the visitor to get closer to our participants.
Swab Thinks. The fair maintains its series of talks and debates in a digital form, and presents an open dialogue with participants and collaborators of this edition.
3 processes 10 minutes. The Swab Ephemeral participants – Maria Alcaide, Eulalia Garcia Valls and Paula Bruna – share with us their creative process in ten minutes videos.
Swab Barcelona 2020’s virtual edition is starting its first week, and the Selection Committee is already choosing their insider’s picks. Omar López-Chahoud, independent curator and artistic director of UNTITLED, shares his favourite works with us:
Swab Barcelona 2020’s virtual edition is starting its first week, and the Selection Committee is already choosing their insider’s picks. Domenico de Chirico, independent curator, shares his favourite works with us:
Swab Barcelona 2020’s virtual edition is starting its first week, and the Selection Committee is already choosing their insider’s picks. Jérôme Pantalacci, independent curator and artistic director of Art-O-Rama, shares his favourite works with us:
Swab Barcelona 2020 its special program for this edition, Focus Korea, a program that puts the focus on one of the most innovative artistic contexts on the international scene: South Korea. Focus Korea presents four of the most representative galleries in the country, and does so through a series of exhibition proposals that combine traditional Korean imagery with the freshest and most contemporary artistic disciplines.
Meet all the exhibitors Focus Korea exhibitors on Swab Thinks 1+1 on our Vimeo Channel. The 1+1 program are 2 minute clips where the artists and galleries of this edition present a more intimate look at their works, working spaces and processes, making the virtual world an ideal space for interconnectivity.
Curated by Caterina Almirall and with the collaboration of Fábricas de Creación de Barcelona: Hangar, La Escocesa y Fabra and Coats.
Ephemeral is a site-specific programme that works with installation projects that fill the space of the Italian pavilion in Montjuic. Seeking the interaction of the public with the pieces, it concentrates above all on the specificity of the space it occupies, being materiality, light or sound the elements with which it develops. This year should be no exception, but with the singularity that the space in which the Swab 2020 is located is a virtual space.
The artists participating in Ephemeral this year present specific works for this virtual space, designed to be performed in a web environment and experienced through the screen of your iPad or computer. Therefore, it is not a question of adapting the installation works to the virtual format, but of interventions thought in the specified of the digital environment and the tools that it offers us. At the same time, they seek to generate reflection and critical thought on the effects that this setting has on the ways of working, of relating to each other and to the works; effects that have a direct impact on the dynamics of work and on the works themselves. The programme aims to reflect on how this situation affects artists working in Barcelona nowadays, on the working conditions and how they are affected by a greater presence of interactions in the virtual environment as a result of the isolation and social distance we have been forced to create as a consequence of the recent social and health crisis.
Blogger Affair is conformed by a video and an installation, part of the phenomenon of the rise of the Internet as a means of work and dissemination, as dynamics of transformation of the modes of work in contemporary hyper-visibility. Located on the virtual stand of the fair, it responds to the shift towards digital platforms and virtuality, the same place where the critical perspective it proposes is directed, both from the aesthetic and plastic language, and in the content of research based on experience itself.
Based on the premise that “artists and influencers are not so different”, the artist Maria Alcaide becomes “the materialist” influencer. She displays strategies and gives typical advices of ‘the show society’ and the world of hypervisibility, tips for surviving in a world of followers, branding and success. Blogger Affair is a criticism that uses its own media and records of what it criticizes, in the manner of institutional criticism, transferred to a TedTalk, a video clip and the forms of an intimate viral diary typical of the character. At the same time as the artist performs the cultural worker, in the framework of what Richard Florida called the “Culture Class”, dressed in the overalls of the shipyards of the port of Bilbao before the cultural hub, she speaks to us, between seducer and trickster, of the daily reality implied by the dynamics of precarisation and self-exploitation in which young artists live and work.
The installation reproduces a comfortable space, with careful lighting and pleasant colours, which transfers the tone of the video to the exhibition space, and includes one of the elements of the fashion collection of the influence that appears in the video, a piece of cheap jewellery in the form of a necklace of pendants with the word “underpaid” decorating the ornament with bright letters.
In a space invaded by vegetation, Paula Bruna tells us about the coexistence between the vegetal kingdom and the social and cultural life. Paula Bruna’s work takes as a reference concepts of ecology and ecological economy and shows the fragility of this cohabitation that often enters in collapse, being this a central element of her work. The idea of collapse, can lead to ruin and catastrophe, but also to the emergence of new forms of life and coexistence where new structures appear.
Often her work material are seed crops that imply a very specific attention towards the cure of living organisms and a reciprocal relationship with the context where it is located. The work presented by Ephemeral is an account of previous experiences of work in artistic institutions where, beyond the environmental conditions of the exhibition spaces, the exhibition of her work reveals the difficulty of plant survival in a hostile environment, both environmentally and by the apparent misunderstanding between two ecosystems: the artistic and botanical. Fragile and vulnerable, the crops collapse, thus revealing a certain situation and functioning of the exhibition space.
Despite the impossibility of growing plants in a virtual environment, in the poetic form that is a signature in her work, plants invade the fair space, and once again point out the consequences of these transformations, and of life in constant danger. If there is life after death, it is in a virtual space, and, as Haskell would say, it is not eternal.
The work of Eulàlia Garcia Valls generates a conceptual overlap between the virtual space of the fair and the artist’s workplace; through the transfer of an architectural element of the workshop, the partition that separates her workshop from the one on the side to her residence in Hangar, to the stand that has been assigned to her. A partition wall is a thin wall that serves to separate and distribute an interior space, it is a delimiting and non-structural element, and it does not support any weight. The presence of the partition in the virtual space loses its architectural function, turning it into a sculptural object that reminds us that architecture, in virtual space, fulfils different and more ambiguous functions. The virtual architecture of the stands and the artistic intervention share the function of recreating and simulating their reference.
The intervention also includes a sound piece, the recording of the sound of the artist’s work space that coincides with the idea of recreation and also points out the absence of environmental elements: air, sound, temperature… The contrast between the exhibition space and the work space makes us think of the collapsing distances… as if the possibility suddenly opened up that the other side of the partition wall of the workshop was the exhibition hall, or that behind the partition wall was the artist’s workshop. We could even think that this is a proposal that can only exist precisely on the virtual world, in which the partition is to both places at the same time.
10 MINUTES X 3 PROCESSES
Get to know the workplace where Ephemeral artists think, live and create their work on our Vimeo Channel.
10 minutes x 3 processes are ten-minute capsules where you can get to know the work spaces of three artists from the Ephemeral program of the Factories of Creation of Barcelona: Fabra i Coats, Hangar and La Escocesa.
Swab Barcelona presents the exhibitors that make up the General Program with a selection of established national and international galleries with a remarkable trajectory in the contemporary art circuit.
etHALL, “The Disappearance” series by Violeta Mayoral
ADN Galería, “Social Distancing” by Pep Vidal
SWAB THINKS 1+1
Meet all the exhibitors and the General Program artists on Swab Thinks 1+1 on our Vimeo Channel.
The 1+1 program are 2 minute clips where the artists and galleries of this edition present a more intimate look at their works, working spaces and processes, making the virtual world an ideal space for interconnectivity.
Meet all the exhibitors and the Swab Emerging artists on Swab Thinks 1+1 on our Vimeo Channel. The 1+1 program are 2 minute clips where the artists and galleries of this edition present a more intimate look at their works, working spaces and processes, making the virtual world an ideal space for interconnectivity.