Pendery Weekes, Derek Guthrie, Daniel Nanavati
Finally, with the publication of our November/December issue we’ve nearly reached the end of 2020, an ill-fated and turbulent year. It’s been a year that has kept us riveted to the news with its constant updates and restrictions being imposed, lifted and re-imposed in countries all over the world. It has been challenging to keep pace with the continuously evolving situation and the many changes that have taken place in our lives and society. Do we still have a society? The Merriam Webster dictionary defines society as “companionship or association with one’s fellows: friendly or intimate intercourse: company.” I believe the biggest shock of the year has been overcoming our companionships and associations with our fellows through the mandatory distancing, and basically living online.
These months for many have been very screen-based from dawn to dusk and on into the night and then all over again. It has been like living in a film, but one with no ending, just one long, ongoing story. One thing for sure, 2020 has never been boring. The year has also been one in which many of us will likely never forget the numerous films we watched in the evenings. Be it Netflix or other movie feeders of streaming services like Amazon Prime, Sky, YouTube, DVDs or even basic television, the films and TV series we were offered contributed to the endless hours lost in lockdown and also gave us solace from the relentless news we were fed of gloom and doom. The daily diet of the film watchers has been of at least one film a day, sometimes three or four, maybe more, depending on living conditions and work to do online and zoom meetings on the following day. In this case films have served their purpose, helping us to escape from the nightmare of the monster lurking out there. Therefore, our feature this issue is dedicated to film reviews, led by Scott Sublett, followed by Christian Hain, Gill Fickling, Mary Fletcher, Lynda Green and a video and review of Ken Turner’s performance in St Ives by Patricia Wilson Smith.
Fortunately for some people, we have also read more books and magazines online and in print, according to numerous statistics. A May 2020 survey of 1000 people by The Guardian reports ‘time spent with books has almost doubled, with thrillers and crime the favoured genres’, not surprising as we need to evade reality. In this same period, the New Art Examiner increased its readership and reached 1 million readers in August 2020, months sooner than we had expected.
We can’t cancel 2020 from our lives, but we can look towards the new year and support the arts. We hope we can rebuild our lives and reconnect with our friends and new friends without fear, and that the New Year will bring new initiatives for the creative sector and the fine arts. A heartfelt wish to all our readers for a Happy New Year 2021 from all of us at the New Art Examiner!
There is though a strange irony for artists when the general population complain about enforced solitude. That ‘inward eye’ is not a happy place for them and there is no ‘bliss’ in being cut off from people. Yet, loneliness is all around us, all the time. We hope our eyes are more open now.
Volume 35 no 2 November / December 2020