Africa Art Art Beat Culture FA Weekend

Art Beat – Art at Post Covid – Now what?

Being an artist in times of change is in itself a factor of evolution, whether or not art was a response to external stimuli. We can therefore say that today’s creative and artistic expression inevitably reflects the artists’ global sentiment motivated by the worldwide pandemic crisis.

In the long run, Covid-19 will have a more devastating effect on collective memory than the disease itself. Looking at history, we are led to see that it has been the great advent of global impact such as the great wars, invasions, pests, epidemics, climate change or more recently 9/11 that mark the emergence of new lines of thought.

As a result, it is only natural to ask the question: Now what?

It is legitimate to say that all these events invariably influence the artist and the way he sees the world. Art is in itself a response to external stimuli, artists are not immune to the universe that surrounds them and as a result they operate as true agents of change.

Art piece Valkyrie Azulejo, 2013
Handmade woolen crochet, applications in felt, mixed fabrics, polyester, LED power supply, of variable dimensions © Luís Vasconcelos for Atelier Joana Vasconcelos

What is the state of Art post-Covid19?

Different, art has adapted to the new reality and focused on the digital world to reinvent itself and evolve. In fact, the internet and virtual platforms were decisive for the world of arts in general in pandemic times.

The virtual galleries, the marketplaces, as well as countless digital events on a global scale have emerged, which throughout the world have served as a showcase for the arts and that in this way have expressed the feelings of the artists in the face of new everyday outlines. We could point out many others, but as an example of the influence of this pandemic, particularly in art, we refer to the “Covid Art Museum”, the “Museum of Brazilian Isolation” or even the project “Covid Photodiaries” which in Spain is described as “a daily chronicle and live report in the pandemic era”.

In our opinion, we cannot speak of art post covid, but of art resulting from the alterations caused by the pandemic, the universe of art and artists face a new era, a new existential ethos.

Gonçalo Terenas – Curator at Art Gallery by CCIPS | Curator of the Portuguese participation on the 14th Biennial of Dakar (Senegal)

Whoever defends that art has never been so democratic and accessible – which is true – everyday life and contexts have evolved and along with them artists have also been forced to take a new approach. Is that a negative factor? On the contrary, we believe that this globalization and access to art brings it closer to its audiences and attracts new followers who up until then did not have access to art and the artist.

Nobody can confidently state what the future of art is or what will be the new status quo that societies will assume regarding the art world, we will probably see new virtual and dynamic formats that will influence the form, content and means of visualization and even commercialization of different artistic forms.

But whatever it may be, the virtual “window” (screen) will surely continue to constitute itself as the main way of visualizing works and artists; hasn’t that always been the case in the history of creators?

The “Starry Night”, the most famous painting by Vincent Van Gogh, was elaborated from his view looking out the window of the psychiatric hospital room where the artist spent part of his life: real or virtual, the way we observe what inspires us depends on the context and the field of view that each of us has.

A look of art with Jennifer Houdrouje (Selebe Yoon Gallery – Senegal) / Gonçalo Terenas (Art Gallery by CCIPS – Senegal) / Patricia Cressot (Sowl Initiative – Monaco)

One thing is certain, the art world has never been closer to people. The global immersion in the work and the proliferation of new artists or the enhanced exposure to so many others that until now have not been able to reach their “window” of visibility, has given rise to a new “footprint” in the evolution of Man as creator and author.

For all these reasons, and from the point of view of the artist and author, the question with which we end our first chronicle of 2021 is the following: Covid-19!! So what??

Thank you for your best attention

Gonçalo Terenas
President of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Cultural Promotion Portugal – Senegal & West Africa (CCIPS), Board Member of Economic Consultative Council of the Embassy of Portugal in Dakar – Senegal, Member of Portuguese Diaspora Council since April 2017

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