By Pendery Weekes

This issue of the New Art Examiner is unique. Nearly all of us around the world have been under some form of lock-down. Some of us have been confined to our homes, others are allowed to go out for essential food shopping, to pick up medicines at the pharmacy, or to do exercise once a day, others cannot even take out their dogs for a walk, yet others still are free to go out to their hearts’ content as long as they practice social distancing. Sadly, others are dying or are dead. We’ve lost our sense of freedom, which we endure, hoping to calm the contagion of the virus. Who knows what will work in the end? What’s important is that we can come out of our cages, physical and mental, as they are becoming quite confining.
In any case, from Ivy in Hong Kong, to Liviana, Anna Maria, Maria Grazia, Loretta in Milan and Anita in Venice, Katie in Warsaw, Viktor in Vermont, Miklos in Toronto, Ben in Amsterdam, Margaret in Chicago, Al in Washington DC and all of us down here in ‘sunny’ Cornwall, somehow we have been able to focus and write, not just about the exhibitions we have seen or haven’t seen yet, but also about our deepest thoughts on the art world. Time has stopped, or rather, like Magritte’s painting, Time Transfixed, our time has changed to another dimension – the alone time of isolation and disconnection. We’re getting mixed up on what day it is, as they’re basically all the same, day runs into night, night runs into day, and then all over again. Only the well-disciplined are doing it right, getting up at the usual hour and going to bed before midnight. However, having time to reflect is a rare gift that we have now, in this world of always running on super busy. Busy has stopped and has been replaced with thought.
Our artworld as we have known it will change; the standstill that the virus has given us, with thought necessarily replacing doing, gives us the impetus to make change and to become creative once again. Will there be geopolitical alignments that change the way our world is organized? Will we waste less and finally decide that it’s time to fix this environmental mess we have made of our world as we know it? As alligators roam the Fort Myers’ shopping mall in Florida (the new shopaholics) and wild boars wander the city streets of Bergamo, our world may take on another dimension. It could become better; let’s hope that once this is over, we can focus on what’s important to us most and not waste any more time on the superfluous. I agree with what Miklos Legrady said about wanting to start a new art movement of beauty. “Nobel physicist Paul Dirac said whenever he sees beauty in his equations, he knows he’s on the right track. Einstein and numerous others concur.” Miklos is “testing if the science behind beauty also applies to fine art.” Something worth thinking about, even when we are released from our cages.

1 thought on “Editorial – Volume 34 no 5 May / June 2020

  1. How indeed “our time has changed to another dimension”, the SAD dimension. Even though once again we are able to travel somewhat, life isn’t like it was before Covid-19 – it’s become socially distanced and sanitized (give me some germs any day!). After cities and towns reopened, we can all see the numerous closures of businesses with unemployment growing at an alarming rate. The social distancing risks destroying our social fabric and relationships and most of all it risks destroying art..As a visual experience art needs to be seen and sometimes enjoyed with others.
    Making art come alive isn’t about going to a virtual show, which flattens any emotion one can possibly feel before a painting and even worse before a sculpture. We can’t let 30% of the museums close, as is predicted will happen, meaning even more galleries will also inevitably close. Virtual platforms aren’t the answer and will not do the works justice. Before the coronavirus it was hard enough already for artists to be known and to emerge on the market. We must fight to survive and we must support our artists, our museums and institutions, our art galleries and art schools so that they stay open and are not represented by just a bunch of bits (1 byte = 8 bits) for a jpg image to go into a file on our computers as “saved”. ..
    It’s time to take off our masks and gloves and get back to work like there’s no tomorrow.

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