15 June, 2021

Frieze On A Screen

As physical spaces are locked out, art galleries and other purveyors are taking culture online, where immediate gains are balanced out by immanent challenges

The Reiterators by Katyayini Gargi at Shrine Empire Gallery
Frieze On A Screen

“Illness, insanity, and death…kept watch over my cradle and accompanied me all my life,” Edvard Munch, the Norwegian artist, whose art was marked by a strong sense of fatality, darkness, and despair, had observed, having lived through the Spanish flu. His Self-Portrait with the Spanish Flu made in 1919, depicts a resting man who seems to be fading away, featureless, and worn. Even his surroundings are tired and waning; it is one of the few works of art exploring what was until then considered one of the most terrible pandemics of the modern world. From the moment the ravages of COVID-19 seized India, experts rushed to strike a comparison with the Spanish flu. All sorts of models predicting the future of a post-Covid world—its impact on economy, society, education and health regulations—were developed. What sort of art would come out of the pandemic? How would it impact a possible cultural revolution? Questions which perhaps stem from the cyclical nature that pandemics have had on the creative spirit in the past—the Renaissance in Florence came...

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