The Show Does Go On
A round-up of projects keeping our creative fires burning during isolation.
Amidst the loneliness and despair caused by the COVID-19 crisis, creatives stepped up to create a new kind of global community online without delay. Many staples of life pre-social distancing have been revived through virtual iterations such as online shows, artist talks, DJ sets and more. Upon an invite from curators Övül Durmuşoğlu and Joanna Warsza, artists in Berlin have been exhibiting work on their balconies, and Istanbul-based collective afterwork has designed a digital interactive exhibition, aptly titled “Contact”. Of the many talented artists, musicians, writers, and collectives currently populating our screens, here is a selection of our favorite isolation-themed projects and Instagram accounts.
This digital network for the self-isolated combines submissions from an inclusive group of resident artists (“all of us in social isolation”), with thoughts and questions on our current crisis prompting discussion from the community in the comments section, thereby turning the account into an equitable forum for creativity and dialogue.
This Chicago-based project by the Public Media Institute is an online publication amassing contributions from community members, featuring the works and thoughts of artists, writers, and citizens during isolation. Their introductory statement begins with a salve for loneliness: “In the face of everything that’s happening: here we are, together. You are sticking together, working together, and caring for each other like never before.”
Solo show is an in-progress virtual decentralized group show that redefines many critiqued aspects of IRL gallery culture, featuring a curation of artists’ works during isolation, by Underground Flower, Rhizome Parking Garage, and Harlesden High Street. The exhibition acccepted submissions until April 20th, a selection of which will be posted on soloshow.online until the show’s culmination in a publication.
Iconic Brooklyn comic store Desert Island is publishing a series of nine-panel comics under the name “Rescue Party” asking various artists to visualize ideal post-crisis futures, in a project that consolidates our communal hope in the face of overwhelming uncertainty.
The club scene is a significant facet of togetherness that makes its absence felt – a space for anonymity, intimacy, and unquestioned proximity to others, bridging social distinctions in a way art spaces rarely can. Club Coweed rushes in to fill the void, as a self-described “Free Online Turkish Delight Queer Party” hosted on Zoom, featuring live sets from DJs every Friday and Saturday during isolation, reviving a sense of communal festivity and friendship. Be sure to also check out its US counterpart, @clubquarantine.
Radio Karantina is a multimedia project based in Beirut, featuring audiovisual collages and bringing back the lost art of dedicating songs on the radio to loved ones. Keeping count of the days in their captions, and including the reflections of participants on a chosen song, the project brings to life the relation between quarantine and nostalgia: How our everyday life can be so intertwined with familiar ghosts of the past, longing for past relationships, and, for Lebanon especially, fractured times of peace.
Aiming to recreate the enjoyment of art as a public practice in the absence of concerts, theater, and other live performances, Splash Scene is a new experimental Zoom-based performance space that re-examines audience interaction through a digital lens. Each week, Splash Scene will host two performance pieces with a musical accompaniment, in their words, “Waiting for you at the furthest point of the data lake”.
“Quarantined”: Looking Back at the Great Indoors
Photographer Osman Özel memorializes his life under government-mandated quarantine on the outskirts of İstanbul with a very short film.
New Algorithms For A Glitching World
An interview with artist Gökhan Doğan, who combines order and chaos through his digital works.
Notes from the Under Quarant: Part II
Osman Özel documents the second week of his government-mandated quarantine.