An Exhibition as a Spell at Can Felipa / Barcelona

Una Exposició Com Un Conjur

Duncan Gibbs
Ilana Halperin
la musea
Quim Packard
Alejandra Pombo
Francesc Ruiz Abad
Batia Suter
Ryan Thompson

curated by Caterina Almirall

15 May - 14 July, 2018

Can Felipa Arts Visuals
Pallars, 277
08005 Barcelona

The use of magic involves the use of language. Whether uttered out loud or in thoughts, words are used to access or guide magical power. The connection between language and magic represents a certain belief in the inherent ability that words have to influence the universe. Aiming to explain magic within a context defined by the function of language that wishes to have an impact on the environment, the objects, the present beings as well as those who are not present. We understand magic as the search for something that remains hidden from our faculties and our understanding, the ability to connect with other ways of understanding the world, of transcending the limits of what is human, ordinary or known.

A spell is an action that entails a symbol or rite, normally along with a spoken formula aiming to attract or ward off an invisible power. To invoke means inciting something to reveal itself; a spirit, a ghost, a demon, an energy... summoned by the invocation of a sacred name, an act or by magical means. The symbols used in spells can be objects "lucky charms", amulets, relics, signals and actions employed to cast a spell or to give a blessing.

The concept of a spell acts as a reflection on our everyday environment; we conjure so as to adapt our words to the world. Magic is a form of connection between the natural world and the cultural world, and the spell is the attempt to control what is unknown. Words and stories are a way of organising the world in order to inhabit, control and understand it. An exhibition is a device to help stimulate and reflect upon the consequences of interaction between language and the world, and thus where artistic practice transversely allows us to understand the mechanisms of knowledge and the world’s structuring.

An exhibition is a physical and temporary experience where concepts and ideas are brought together, invoking what the intangible through the tangible. Taking over the shape of a story, the exhibition has the power to grant things certain names and measures, within the specific context of the hall but in reference to a common world. Each object is tailored to the others, and we are also tailored to these objects, which is why we can reflect upon the connection with the surrounding in a constitutive way. An exhibition is, in the end, a ritual in which we decide to participate.


Artists: Duncan Gibbs, Ilana Halperin, la musea, Quim Packard, Alejandra Pombo, Francesc Ruiz Abad, Batia Suter and Ryan Thompson
Curated by: Caterina Almirall
Coordination: Joana Hurtado
Installation technician: Marc Quintana
Graphic design: Durana Monguilod

Edition: Centre Cívic Can Felipa
Texts: Caterina Almirall
English translation: Josephine M. Halpin
Graphic design: Durana Monguilod
Print: Newsapaper Club

Ajuntament de Barcelona, with the collaboration of OCA (office for Contemporary Art Norway)