By Valentine Lacour
The year 2021 is now well underway, and despite all our hopes, the cultural and art sector continues to face challenges caused by Coronavirus. While the time for New Year’s Resolutions has (thankfully) passed, I want to encourage everyone to keep learning, enjoying art and being curious!
On the “positive” side of things, because we have faced this situation for quite a while now, art professionals are much better prepared to overcome the restrictions that stop us from consuming art and culture! This year, creatives have redoubled their efforts to adapt to the pandemic and allow us to enjoy art from the comfort of our own homes (at least until the lockdown is over!)
If you are not overly enthusiastic about checking out art pieces through a screen, trust me I understand! It’s not ideal. But I strongly advise you to give a chance to digital art initiatives (and read this article until the end) – you might be nicely surprised!
In 2021, artists, art insiders, and creatives came together to propose ingenious alternatives to appreciate art and keep us entertained. Let’s give them a chance to amaze us!
In Resilient Response, artists T. Heyes, E. Bernay, and R. SS explore through a physical, visual and audible performance, the consequences of lockdown, isolation and restricted movement. “What does it mean to be a human? How does our body cope with the lack of space, and social and physical intersection? How does it change us?” These are just a sample of the questions you might ask yourself while watching this incredibly sensitive performance.
“Join artists Thomas Heyes, Ekin Bernay and Rowdy SS with special guest Rebecca Bellantoni, as they respond through movement, sound, and spoken word. Their rich multi-sensory responses encourage us to consider what it means to be human and resilient”– Tate Modern.
For me, this performance is the perfect representation of 2020’s bittersweet aftertaste: in a year where nothing happened the way we imagined, but somehow, we found the strength to make the best of it.
If you know what I mean, you should stream the performance on the Tate Modern website.
This year, Maddox Gallery is showcasing an incredible exhibition, “Herstory”, celebrating women in every possible way.
The exhibition, made for and by women, opens up the conversation about women in the art industry. Although women have long been considered as simply “muses”, they are now ready (and have been for a long time) to take up the role of artists.
Herstory talks about women empowerment, the role of women in the art field, the space they take, the gender discrimination they face and much more…
Every piece of art on display can be viewed through the online exhibition catalogue on the gallery’s website.
American conceptual artist Charles Gaines presents his very first solo exhibition in the UK in London, at the Hauser & Wirth Galleries from January to May 2021.
Gaines work explores the question of identity in a multi-racial society. His work is even more relevant in 2021, as debates around cultural appropriation and cultural identity have taken hold in the media.
Like a mosaic, each portrait is made of thousands of little pieces. Observing the portrait closely, we can see that each piece has a number and a colour. From further away, the pieces blend to shape one uniform portrait. Gaines’ work reminds us, in the most powerful way, that each and every one of us is unique. Every piece of our culture, education, experiences, memories, choices and actions compose part our identity.
“Gaines’ distinctive and generative approach forges a critical link between first generation American conceptualists and subsequent generations of artists who are pushing the limits of conceptualism today” – Hauser & Wirth
Charles Gaines’ solo exhibition is available for virtual viewings on Hauser & Wirth’s website.
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Museum to see virtually now
While most art centres remain closed throughout the pandemic, the many people who work in museums across the world have prepared some amazing activities, classes, virtual tours (and more) for us to keep enjoying art. Here is a small selection of the best ones (according to me!)
I couldn’t start this selection without talking about the wonderful Beaubourg Museum in Paris, also known as the Centre Pompidou. I believe that the Centre Pompidou is one of the museums that has managed to best adapt to the pandemic. Since the beginning of 2021, it has offered online tours of the museum as well as masterclasses!
You can subscribe to the “MOOC” sessions, some FREE online courses are available to all, in French or English. From January to June 2021, the MOOC is offering classes about Female Artistic creation (in French). The classes will be completed by the exhibition, “Female artists and Abstraction” (available in English) from May to August 2021.
The first thing to note is the collaboration between the museum and “Google Arts & Culture” with “experiments” directly available on the Google Experiment’s website. This includes games such as online puzzles, crosswords and even, colouring books, as well as access to thousands of pieces of art and 360-degree videos of masterpieces.
You can see the main collection of the Getty Museum online.
Maybe you haven’t ever been to Asia and rarely think about checking out the museums in this part of the world? … Well, it’s time to make a change!
The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary art of Seoul is also partnering with Google Arts & Culture to offer a range of interactive activities.
You can also check out the museum’s website and access the “online museum”, which includes Virtual Reality tours, Arts & Artists talks, and exhibition guides. My personal favourite, available right now, is the VR tour of the “How to create a landscape” exhibition.
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This list of museums to visit online is non – exhaustive, and you might also want to check out the Pergamon Museum (Berlin), the Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam), Van Gogh Museum, (Amsterdam), Uffizi Gallery, (Florence) or even the MASP, (São Paulo).
All around the world, art insiders and professionals are dedicated to helping us live through these strange times by offering great exhibitions to see and art-related content. And in my opinion, there is no better escape than art…
As an alternative, you can also follow KeiSei Magazine’s social media and participate in our Instagram Lives masterclasses every week!