So the New Year has come yet "Happy New Year" wishes almost sound sarcastic after the events that unraveled in 2020. Instead, the protagonist of this story bought a bunch of "Get better soon" balloons.
The protagonist of this story is weary of the solitude, of worrying about family, of checking COVID-19 stats, of depressing news; they are tired of limited movement, of learning German from scratch and of their inability to learn it. The character complains of this catalogue of first world problems just like anyone else. They admit to be lucky to live in a country with a developed health system, yet they feel unlucky because other places they have lived before were more welcoming. Like many, the character is one of these artists whose shows and travels were canceled, although some digital alternatives were proposed. Little did one know that the new reality posed the biggest challenge not to thoughts but to feelings.
In 2020, the first online show was forgotten by the artist due to hospitalization.
They have to worry about another lung disease, so the prospect of suffocation is
something real. The phrase "I can't breathe" hits too close to home. They missed the
first online vernissage of 2020 as they were preoccupied about results of a CAT scan. So instead of the opening, they were more likely to stare at hospital art prints. The second online show, the one “in New York”, again felt like it never occurred.
A third online exhibition "in Germany" failed to attract new contacts, which a pre-covid haptic opening would have. Online viewings seemed unreal, they could not feel its impact. The artist longed to feel real, to feel that works exist, and are being
experienced. According to George Berkley, esse est percipi "To be,” means to be perceived. Unfortunately Berkley did not offer any guidance on how to exist in virtual viewing rooms.
Amid the second wave of the pandemic, the artist felt growing unfulfillment; they felt bored opening newsletters with similar online shows, and longed for the past.
The memories of travels and picaresque stories BC19 (before Covid 19) seemed like
from a different era. Repeatedly, the algorithm of Facebook served surreal memories
of a former life. But alas, "Nothingness nothings".
* "Das Nicht nichtet" / "Nothingness nothings" / "Nictwo się nicestwi"
quotation from "What Is Metaphysics?" a lecture by the philosopher Martin Heidegger, first presented to the faculties of the University of Freiburg on July 24, 1929 as inaugural address.
The rich get richer, rendering on screen, 2021
Hommage à Chaim Soutine, rendering on screen, 2021