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'Swamp Horses', a Group Show at Spirit Vessel and Altan, Girona

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Ulrike Buck, Tomato, 2019
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Ulrike Buck, Tomato, 2019
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Ulrike Buck, Tomato, 2019
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Víctor Jaenada, Bacalada y porexpan, 2019
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Víctor Jaenada, Bacalada y porexpan, 2019
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Víctor Jaenada, Bacalada y porexpan, 2019
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Josep Maynou, Blablabla, 2018 / Mhamid, 2015
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Josep Maynou, Mhamid, 2015
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Josep Maynou, Blablabla, 2018
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Josep Maynou, Esto no es música, 2019
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Michele Gabriele, It's always so hard to admit that things are different than what we had believed at first sight, 2018
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Michele Gabriele, It's always so hard to admit that things are different than what we had believed at first sight, 2018
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Michele Gabriele, It's always so hard to admit that things are different than what we had believed at first sight, 2018
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Michele Gabriele, It's always so hard to admit that things are different than what we had believed at first sight, 2018
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Michele Gabriele, It's always so hard to admit that things are different than what we had believed at first sight, 2018
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James Lewis, Sagas, 2019
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James Lewis, Sagas, 2019
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James Lewis, Sagas, 2019
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Valerio Nicolai, Siamese twins at the show, 2019
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Valerio Nicolai, Siamese twins at the show, 2019
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Valerio Nicolai, Siamese twins at the show, 2019
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Lucia Leuci + Monia Ben Hamouda, Donna Demone, 2019
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Lucia Leuci + Monia Ben Hamouda, Donna Demone, 2019
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Martin Llavaneras, Catabolic leaves, 2019
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Martin Llavaneras, Catabolic leaves, 2019
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Martin Llavaneras, Catabolic leaves, 2019
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Martin Llavaneras, Catabolic leaves, 2019
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Valerio Nicolai, Sea of shit #5, 2019
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Valerio Nicolai, Sea of shit #5, 2019
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Valerio Nicolai, Sea of shit #5, 2019
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Ulrike Buck, Bauernteller (Farmer Plates) (Heart, Brain, Pain), 2019
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Jordi Mitjà, Double tongue, 2018
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Ulrike Buck, Bauernteller (Farmer Plates) (Heart, Brain, Pain), 2019
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Jordi Mitjà, Fossilized hand with seven fingers, 2018
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Jordi Mitjà, Double tongue, 2018
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Ulrike Buck, Bauernteller (Farmer Plates) (Heart, Brain, Pain), 2019
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Jordi Mitjà, Double tongue, 2018
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Kenneth Alme, Das Meer das Meer das Meer, 2019
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Kenneth Alme, Das Meer das Meer das Meer, 2019
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Kenneth Alme, References references references, 2018
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Andrew Birk, Fear Hiding, 2019
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Andrew Birk, Fear Hiding, 2019
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Monia Ben Hamouda, Selfportrait II, 2019
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Monia Ben Hamouda, Selfportrait II, 2019
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Monia Ben Hamouda, Selfportrait II, 2019
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Kåre Magnus Bergh, Hairpiece, 2019
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Kåre Magnus Bergh, Hairpiece, 2019
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Jordi Mitjà, Copper piss, 2018
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Jordi Mitjà, Copper piss, 2018
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Jordi Mitjà, Copper piss, 2018
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Jordi Mitjà, Copper piss, 2018
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Pierre Clement, Satcon, 2019
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Pierre Clement, Satcon, 2019
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Pierre Clement, Satcon, 2019
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Laia Estruch, Sibina, 2019
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Laia Estruch, Sibina, 2019
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Laia Estruch, Sibina, 2019
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Estrid Lutz, Fading through, Zicatela series, Puerto Escondido, 2019
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Estrid Lutz, Fading through, Zicatela series, Puerto Escondido, 2019
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Estrid Lutz, Fading through, Zicatela series, Puerto Escondido, 2019
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Sahatsa Jauregui, El Hijo de, 2019
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Sahatsa Jauregui, El Hijo de, 2019
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Sahatsa Jauregui, El Hijo de, 2019
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Lucia Leuci, Newborn, 2019
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Lucia Leuci, Newborn, 2019
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Jakub Choma, Off the beaten road, 2019
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Jakub Choma, Off the beaten road, 2019
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Jakub Choma, Off the beaten road, 2019

In January and February on hilltops, in blastocysts of stone houses with low ceilings slung together, people clump around greasy wood ovens for warmth, animals huddling underneath. Wintry air marches down the Pyrenees headfirst into pijo Cadaqués, plate-glass shattering everything into cyan shards, metal signs ripped off their moors, hats flying, dunes eat into jabalí trails in thebeachgrass.

Coming in like a distant highway, on the tinny pang of church-bells, expanding into all of space, enveloping, rending ancient structures willy-nilly, disheveled. Barn doors blast open and slap flush against wood frames, glass weather-seals chattering, thingspeel.

Sagebrush haired sweatshirt-wearers squint forever, madly sweeping to fight the sand back and cigarette butts and beer cans and crumpled dusty Kinder wrappers that fly in from the fields and collect in the armpits of one-way streets. Acrid shit-slurry spread shallowly over fallow surfaces, peanut-buttery reek, a grainy, all-consuming temporary phthisis, overwhelming the entryways of old farmer’s houses, prune-faced poker-playerswith dead noses.

A plume of pigeons rises from an old terra cotta rooftop, does one half of a half turn, a contrail line disseminating into blue vastness. In the lust-flood of springtime, almond trees lift their skirts, tendrils unfurl and birds gawk in themarshes.

On longer days, oversized lemons and lode tomatoes sag off the vine, fat figs drip purple vinegar, punch drunk wasps and butterflies tumble through sunflowers. An albino deer agape in the far distance, a permacast tractor path. One work boot impaled musty and upside-down on a wooden stake, waiting.

Evening yellow lingers like perfume in an elevator, too long, painterly, perfect. Under its spell, stone walls and thousand year doors exfoliate. Shotgun shells scattered and rustling over the broken marble pathway glinting off towards the downing sun. Butter white swamp horses chortle to themselves quietly in the muck in the shadow of power linescrossing the wilderness, the moon thick in the clouds. We came here to imagine kids building forts in the floodplain detritus. To observe leaves fall from trees, expressionist lichen, a blurry black bodied crow streaks across the plane, time unravels in front of our panting summer faces and wild windy squinting eyes. A time-lapse of matter building up and frothing forth, swelling in assertive dominion, then weathered,receding, bowing justly and blowing away; moment after moment and year after year.

— Andrew Birk, 2019

An old home in the countryside that has hosted multiple life cycles: its foundations were already built with the ruins of older buildings, and it has changed in shape, size and function over centuries. Now a fragmented structure, layers pile up, revealing different time periods and domestic histories in one small archeological mess.

Located right next to the village’s church and cemetery, Spirit Vessel is the manifestation of a new life project that begins to fill this structure as a home and workspace. As in all rural areas, once hubs of activity when agriculture was the base and sustenance of life, they went from existing in the time of all-consuming labor, self-sufficiency, and a lifetime dedicated to its own local biologicalpermanence; to the time of production at the beginning of worldwide integrated systems. A returnto these empty spaces is taking place, re-appropriating and re-distributing meaning to the context,now from the perspective of a digitalized and globalized generation.

Spirit Vessel is hosting a group of works that celebrate this opening statement with their own approaches on our notions of ourselves in relation to our environmental time. In these works, the time of one human cycle as a measure of nature and historicity clashes with the chronology of the organic and the imprint of mankind’s manipulation of its habitat. Fossils of how we imagine thepast to be appear as more accurate to our projection of the world in fictional narratives adjusted to our imagination, than the relevance of truth. Artists play with the mystification and personificationof nature in a ritualistic relation with its elements and cycles, they recreate structures, grids and biological architecture, or the erosion and disintegration of materials in a new symbiosis of the organic and the technological over a scenario of an already fully blown ecological collapse. They go back and forth between traditional craftsmanship and processes, and accelerated image circulation. Wild horses in a swamp, oblivious to the violent winds and cohabiting with distant electric lines, provide an idyllic backdrop for this projection of our futures in the new meaning of landscape.

— Sira Pizà, 2019

15.6.19 — 15.8.19

Ulrike Buck, Laia Estruch, Jakub Choma, Monia Ben Hamouda, Michele Gabriele, Kenneth Alme, Kåre Magnus Bergh, Victor Jaenada, Andrew Birk, Pierre Clement, Sahatsa Jauregi, Valerio Nicolai, Josep Maynou, James Lewis, Lucia Leuci, Martin Llavaneras, Estrid Lutz, Jordi Mitjà

Organized by Andrew Birk, Sira Pizà Airas and Kenneth Alme

Photo by Roberto Ruiz, Natália Assis, Andrew Birk, Sira Pizà

This show is a collaboration between Spirit Vessel and ALTAN. Spirit Vessel lives in the town of Espinavessa in the rural Alt Empordà region of Spain. It is launching as a platform for exhibitions andresidencies that will create fluid contexts adapted to each of its projects.

Spirit Vessel / Altan

'Power must grow, if it doesn't grow it rots' by Dominika Trapp at Karlin Studios

'Flags' by Troels Wörsel at C.C.C., Copenhagen

☼ by chukwumaa + Zoë Argires at New Works, Chicago

'By working the soil we cultivate the skies' by KINDERSPIELE at Macao, Milan

'Sunshine' by Kanrec Sakul at VUNU Gallery, Košice

'DID YOU KISS THE SPOT TO MAKE IT WELL – A tribute to Jadran Sturm (1957-2019)' a

'Mostra collettiva di pittura da Sasha', a Group Show in Corso Brescia 23, Turin

'Multiplexx' by Hélène Fauquet at Schiefe Zähne, Berlin

'SLAG' by Marco Ceroni at GALLLERIAPIU, Bologna

'GLOBAL CRISES – Kunst & Klimata' by Tilman Hornig & Daniel Schramm at C. Rockefe

'Tonguing the fence' by Rebecca Ackroyd at Lock Up International, London

Bronte Stolz at Discordia, Melbourne

'Feeble Core' by Joppe Venema at CLAPTRAP, Antwerp

'Le pays du soleil', a Group Show at Futura, Prague

'In This Light I Can Count Your Lives' by Philip Hinge, Final Hot Desert, Goblin

'Bar None' by Mathis Collins at 15 Orient, New York

'Però no tinc temps...' by Paco Chanivet, Guillermo Ros at Espai Tactel Toormix,

'La ragazza di città' by Lucia Leuci at TEMPESTA gallery, Milan

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