Swab Ephemeral 2021


Curated by Caterina Almirall and Margot Cuevas

Like a four-organ marine creature that inhabits the depths of the undulating and sinuous ocean, or perhaps as a fantasy that emerges from a radical, complex and laborious imagination, striking and imperceptible, it prefigures a viscous, pasty, artisanal, ancestral materiality. It moves with a slow and deep temporality and it observes you attentively from very close and deep inside, contemplative and curious.

This edition of Ephemeral is presented in the contemporary present with a slow but constant rhythm, paying attention to the effects of this present that go through us even though we may not see them. It looks at the consequences, the circumstances and also the resistance that four artists, who currently live and work in Barcelona, develop from their artistic practices.

They address issues such as survival, difference, resistance; the ocean, prosthetics, work; communication, food, weaving. And they do it from a political position with contemporary feminist theories and a critique of the capitalist system and in the neoliberal and capacitive logics. Four instal·latives proposals cooked over low heat, in which the material, plastic and sensorial aspect is as important as the narrative, conceptual aspect and the critical look they propose.


Imatge Programa 4

Alexander Arilla (Fabra i Coats)

(Badalona, 1991)

Alexander Arilla’s set of textile works are presented as contemporary fables about the world of work in the capitalist context. They are pieces manufactured with the collaboration of his aunt who has sewn and sew all his life for neighbors and family and for those who need it. Sewing is a traditionally feminized trade, sewing is precarious. Sewing, like weaving, appear in numerous stories and fables from classical myths to popular culture, myths, fables and legends starring women who wait or are held back, and who often use the act of weaving, spinning, sewing, mending… to build this waiting and as the tool to tell their stories and even to weave or conjure destiny.

The figures that appear in the three pieces that Alexander presents are based on drawings made by himself, which he later transfers to the fabric using the patchwork technique in Cowboy with flowers, 2019 and Bees Killing super boss (2019). Piñata (2019) is a work of dressmaking with fabrics filled with volume. All three, like fables, use animals to represent contemporary social conflicts. They are figures based on children’s imaginary and japanese anime, a universe that brings us closer to social and complex issues from a fanciful but above all transversal, horizontal and honest look.



Cowboy, Alexander Arilla

Joana Capella (La Escocesa)

(Barcelona, 1990)


My best work is the project that Joana Capella has developed over the last year focused on the production of bread as an artistic mechanism to survive economically. Her interest in this project lies in learning the trade of making bread, self-taught or collaborating with artisans, to the point of mastering the technique and putting it into artistic practice. By making bread one of her sources of income, her work takes the form of submerged economic activity, subverting and reversing the economic precariousness that dominates the artistic context.

For this intervention at the Swab fair, Capella proposes to take advantage of the commercial context of the fair to present its product based on various marketing strategies. The fair becomes a tool from which commercial strategies are extracted using the usual promotional elements. In this way, the purpose and objective of having a stand at a fair is fulfilled: seeking sponsors and promoting the product by making it known to new customers and possible patreons. Based on these tactics, Capella considers her relationship with the craft and the context of art, turning around the material and productive conditions that make it possible to rethink times, spaces and the possibilities of the doing.


Joana Capellapa

La meva millor obra, Joana Capella

to kosie (Hangar)

(Polònia, 1986)


Recent to kosie’s work explores the proximity between life in the deep ocean and femininity. Two powerful unknown and unexplored universes, which have traditionally been systematically made invisible and misunderstood. Her research takes place in the exploration of a wide variety of experimental materials such as bioplastics (agar, kombucha skin, algae), reflective fabrics, 3D prints, fabrics, nail polish, false nails, false nails and hair, LEDs or small works with ceramics. to kosie combines the materials creating sculptures and installations of diverse dimensions that often function as creatures or as environments that survive in a delicate environmental balance and that react to presences or luminosity, just as the inhabitants of the underwater depths do.

The fascination for the underwater universe, its beauty, but also its slowness and depth sometimes has a hint of sadness or melancholy, as a form of denunciation and resistance to a neoliberal world that neither understands nor respects them. They are sometimes monstrous creatures that change color according to the stimuli they receive, symbiotic, hermaphroditic, interacting and evolving, demonstrating extraordinary complexity in their ways of knowing and relating. In these two universes the concepts of contemporary feminisms incorporate the logics of chaos, changing and dissident subjectivities, horizontal organization and embodied and material knowledge.


To Kosiesea Creature

Sea creature, to kosie

Helena Vinent (La Escocesa)

(Barcelona, 1988)


Helena Vinent’s installation articulates from her political position as a deaf person, and her relationship with instruments, strategies or artificial prostheses that she uses to be able to communicate within common or normative parameters. Based on the appropriation of these instruments, such as subtitles and hearing aids, she critically questions the adaptation of the body to a capacitive system that understands the body as a functional device aimed at the endless production of the capitalist system.

The installation is made up of several sculptures and a video that revolve around the idea of prosthesis, understood here as an element that opens the body and generates other possibilities; thus fleeing from the essentialist and adaptive use that usually defines its function. The video that accompanies the installation is created from the appropriation of subtitles from several science fiction films from different times. This decontextualization allows the artist to generate narrative speculations crossed by her political position and by the crypt theory. In this way, Vinent questions the normative and adaptive system of production through new narratives and speculations of what a complete and functional body can be.


Helena Vinentprotesis 3

Prótesis, Helena Vinent

With the collaboration of:

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