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.