SSSSS, 2020
SSSSS, 2020 Marc Vives

Notes for an Eye Fire exhibition views. Photo: Miquel Coll

In 2018 Marc Vives began the self-imposed routine of swimming out from Barceloneta beach to align himself with Montjuïc hill and to attempt to communicate with it.

This practice led to a series of performative works, photographs, drawings, videos and audio pieces.

In the video SSSSS (standing for Sand Sea Sun Sex Sangría) Vives swims along the Costa Brava, a shoreline often associated with holidays and leisure, to create a disorienting and fragmentary experience of a more-or-less familiar coastal landscape characterized by both wild beauty and man-made eyesores.

Filming with a camera attached to his head, Vives acts as a medium who tries to sense and communicate with the territory through the active immersion of his body and the expulsion of sounds and voices. Resisting both a passive perception of place and a fixed viewpoint, the artist produces a multi-modal experience of watery cohabitation, of apprehension rather than appropriation.

Making of

Marc Vives
Marc Vives
Marc Vives
Marc Vives
Marc Vives
Marc Vives
Marc Vives
Marc Vives
Marc Vives
Marc Vives
Marc Vives

Photos: Latitudes and Hiuwai Chu

About Marc Vives

Marc Vives

Marc Vives is a versatile artist, educator and cultural producer. His exhibition Es que ahora no puedo (2018) grew out of a self-imposed daily routine of swimming out from Barceloneta beach to align himself with Montjuïc hill in an attempt to communicate with it. He transposed these experiences into a series of candid and intimate one-to-one recitals and the redemptive act of stripping the floor of the gallery. Over the following years this led to a series of photographs, drawings, video and audio, together with Vengo cada día por si acaso (2019), a performative tour of the Club Natació Barcelona. Performing with a range of manmade instruments and natural objects such as a conch shell, Vives and Laia Estruch staged Cantar l'aigua (2020) in a former water treatment plant. Following the natural path of water, they led the audience down from the surface to the cavernous underground tanks.

Marc Vives studied fine arts at the Universitat de Barcelona (2001). From 2002 to 2012 he was one half of the artist duo Bestué-Vives. His solo exhibitions include Es que ahora no puedo, etHALL, Barcelona (2018), and he has participated in a number of group shows and festivals, including Festival Sâlmon, Barcelona (2021); La cuestión es ir tirando, Centro Cultural de España, Mexico City (2020), and Festival Grec, Barcelona (2020). Since 2013 he has codirected GRAF.cat, a platform for contemporary art programmes in Catalonia. From 2014 to 2017 he led the residency programme at L’Estruch, Sabadell.

Moment of Cantar l’aigua, by Marc Vives and Laia Estruch
Moment of Cantar l’aigua, by Marc Vives and Laia Estruch
Marc Vives, Vengo cada día por si acaso
Marc Vives, Vengo cada día por si acaso
Excerpt of Es que ahora no puedo, by Marc Vives
Excerpt Es que ahora no puedo, by Marc Vives
I don’t think about art when I’m working. I try to think about life
Jean-Michel Basquiat