Swab Emerging Art Fair in Barcelona

Imagen promocional de Swab2015

 

65 galleries, 22 countries, more than 100 emerging artists and new programs and disciplines make the eighth edition of Swab the one which consolidates this cool show in continuous search for new values.

 

 

Swab was born in 2006 as an initiative from the private collection Diezy7 Space Art in Barcelona. The art fair holds its 8th edition from 1 to 4 October at the Italian Pavilion of the Fira de Barcelona, ??and has become an annual event of international emerging art, well received by the public and critics. This response is what has encouraged the organization to create new programs in this edition.

 

Obra de Judas Arrieta en SWAB.

 

The General Program 2015 brings together a large number of established galleries and highly regarded in the global market of contemporary art galleries. It also provides an opportunity for a number of newly created galleries to participate in an international art fair.

 

Swab Seed, program curated by David Armengol, sets out a series of separate proposals that have made their way outside the institutions in cities such as Barcelona, ??Madrid and Berlin. The project has a dual registration. On the one hand, it is a physical space of collective presentation of separate spaces (working methods, artists, linked, specific projects), among which are El Palomar (Barcelona), Arts Coming (Barcelona), Me & the curiosity (Barcelona) , La Encantada Gallery (Barcelona), Halfhouse (Barcelona), The Green Parrot (Barcelona), Salón (Madrid) and Junefirst (Berlin). On the other hand, it presents a program of public lectures and round tables entitled Intensity and Survival: artistic practice from the independent. The structure of the talks raises an individual presentation of each of the spaces and a later debate in which they analyzed conditions, needs and common problems.

 


Imagen de SWAB Performance.

 

Swab Performance, curated by Juan Canela, shows specific actions and interventions related with the body, the time, space and action. With the participation of Mercedes Azpilicueta, Elena Bajo, Ely Daou, Alicia Frankovich, Lara Khaldi & Yazan Khalili, and Claudia Pages.


Swab Forum, in collaboration with De Appel Arts Centre (Amsterdam), presents a new program through which two former alumni of the Curatorial Programme of the Dutch center have selected different artists thet will dialogue with each other and work programs of the different galleries.


Swab Thinks is a space for reflection on emerging art with lectures, panel discussions, dialogues among collectors, to think together the transformations of the contemporary.


 


Imagen de SOLO Swab.

 

In SOLO Swab, curated by Direlia Lazo and Carolina Ariza, individual projects of Latin American artists are presented, with emphasis on the procedural practices and creative documentaries confronted with the official story. There are new programs as Swab 'Zh?ngguó: China's new photography' and Swab Drawing Applications, curated by Monica Alvarez Careaga. A bunch of eight individual artistic projects that show the transformation in the use of traditional drawing forms. The participating artists are Paula Rubio Infante, Laura González Cabrera, Cristina Ferrandez, Luis Macias, Juan Escudero, Theo Firmo, Gómez-Bueno and Gonzalo Elvira.

 

Imagen de Swab ‘Zh?ngguó: la nueva fotografía china’ 

 

 

Among the specialised professional profiles that we find in the cultural sector, and more specifically, in the field of visual arts, one of the most recent occupations is that of the curator. The ‘80s put attention on the role of the artist, with its innovative character and the enhancement of its figure as an essential articulator of creative proposals, while the end of the century moved the interest towards the exhibition centres themselves and their work as custodians of current production and as spaces to accommodate all proposals. The change of millennium strongly introduced in this panorama the role of the curator. Perhaps together with a social identity crisis, perhaps with the complexity that contemporary projects are currently acquiring, the need for building, articulating and delving into artistic discourses became evident.

Although the functions entrusted to this profession are not entirely new, since previously they belonged to conservatives, critics or experts according to the themes, the role has gained solidity because it combines all these purposes while allowing the specialisation of other professionals in their fields of competence. Now, as some curators themselves point out, the genuine spirit of this figure, who was born to facilitate the understanding of the discourse, create narratives within a sometimes chaotic and scattered context, mediate between the works and the spectator and create bridges between contemporary art and society.

The art of our day raises a multitude of unknowns for the visitor who must face proposals many times away from the aesthetic standards, which gives way to uncertainty and confusion; but, in turn, these works employ a closer language, materials and even compositions detached from the sophistication and the technical display of yesteryear, something that, far from favouring proximity to the message, generates some distancing. What we have just described is part of the very essence of current art. The questioning of the formalist guidelines and the recourse to tangible elements that are more utilitarian than embellishing are the new criteria of creation, where, above all, the message to be conveyed stands out.

Likewise, another inherent characteristic of the work of our time is the artists' concern for more immediate themes, for social, political and economic issues that seek to create a narrative and conceptual revulsion, leaving behind the aesthetic priority or, rather, making of the message its own aesthetic. In this context, strange as it may seem, contemporary creation encounters a linguistic barrier hindering the viewer's understanding. And to this circumstance, the abundant current production is added, covering a wide range of themes that are nothing more than a transcript of our diverse and globalised society.

The curator helps to facilitate this understanding by articulating a coherent discourse that allows the grouping of related ideas to set up the message. This requires to have an in-depth knowledge of the current state of the art, the lines of work of the creators, the most recent aesthetic proposals and the real demands of society to bridge the dialogue and allow the approach to art. If art deals with the same issues that concern us all, how can we not share its postulates? Cultural mediation requires the work of the curators to open a small window for reflection and to enable a space for exchange and idea generation. We share the thought that José Guirao expressed in a recent interview: "The curator is someone who reveals something new, and it would be a mistake for curators to become managers."

Understood this way curator’s role, many institutions have joined the trend of creating specific calls for new professionals to give light to their proposals. Let us remember, as an example, the call "Unpublished" of La Casa Encendida, or "Curator wanted", of the Community of Madrid or the call of Curating of La Caixa.