Are we there yet ? During a mini visit to Paris, I noticed how my expectations were lowered to such a degree that I didn’t even care about visiting as many museums or galleries as possible. I relished in meeting friends. Most galleries were closed, the Centre Pompidou open, but under construction. The Christo exhibit was good but not great and that was fine. Visiting the museum was like pretending to live like we used to live. Going to museums and enjoying an exhibit. Christo and Jeanne-Claude both dead, radiant, charming, fervent with admirable persistence ( and wealth and connections ) narrated their love story and their project of wrapping the Pont Neuf in a wonderful documentary. We the public, sat somewhat distancing, wearing masks and looking at a charmed past.
A few weeks earlier I went to a symposium in Heidelberg on art and the city. One of the speakers told me she felt like we were talking about the past and that we have to face some heavy changes. And yet where are we and what will art be ? Laurie Anderson thinks that artists will move in to the cities when money moves out. Gallerist Priska Pasquer claims in an interview, that art will be as important as ever ( “Kunst wird so wichtig werden wie noch nie” Source: Kunstforum, Bd.269 2020, p. 329 ). I’m a sucker for positive thinking and am a glass half full person, and need positive outlooks right now. I’m wondering how exactly things will shift and what the role of art will be and how the art market will survive, if at all. What new models do we need to develop, models of artistic creation of reception and of education ? Interesting trends are the use of performance art strategies in protests, such as the naked woman sitting in birthing posture in front of armed troops during the recent protests in Portland.
How exactly can art help humanity manage this crisis, help avoid falling into the throes of barbarism and create viable societies in post capitalism ? Is the creative process enough ? Is there enough life force to carry us through ?