PANDEMIC | PRAXIS | PEDAGOGY
A Michaelis School of Fine Art Staff exhibition in preparation for a special edition journal issue for 2023/24 reflecting on the years 2020-2022 (Covid-19 Pandemic).
4 May to 26 May 2023 at the Michaelis Galleries, UCT, Upper Orange Street in Cape Town.
The COVID pandemic was unique in that fatalities were seen in statistics. Suffering and dying is seen at a distance or behind closed doors. The kind of visual documentation by artists and journalists, typical in the case of wars and plagues is not present. There is a sense of disconnection as funerals/
cremations/and memorials were held via ZOOM. While this distance has been necessary, it has made us realise the importance of closure.
In a fairly utilitarian fashion, the curators of this exhibition have been thinking about art and research, and how to move forward with art work. Is art more relevant now or is it less so as people just try to cope with the mounting
challenges and issues of survival? Perhaps art is it a form of escapism? These questions are not new, but in the current climate we feel there is an urgency in conveying what is important in art and life - and maybe that the two are inextricably linked. We think the concept of being physically present in any context is now loaded with meaning, and risk. The current form of alienation - and connecting - through technology has us really thinking about the radical nature of just sitting with a person, having coffee, and talking in person.
This exhibition, curated by Jean Brundrit and Kurt Campbell, is intended to lead to the next edition of Artworks in Progress by the University of Cape Town's Michaelis School of Fine Art Staff.