Artists in Quarantine
Sanja Iveković, Trokut (Triangle), 1979. Photograph (1 from a series of 4). Collection of Moderna galerija, Ljubljana. Courtesy of the artist
In the context of the global lockdown for the prevention of the Covid-19 pandemic, the museum confederation L'Internationale invited artists Babi Badalov, Osman Bozkurt, Simnikiwe Buhlungu, Ola Hassanain, Sanja Iveković, Siniša Labrović, Rogelio López Cuenca & Elo Vega, Kate Newby, Daniela Ortiz, Zeyno Pekünlü, Maja Smrekar, Isidoro Valcárcel Medina, Guy Woueté, Akram Zaatari, and Paweł Żukowski to join a conversation from their present working and living spaces, conditions and places. Their reflections suggest new perspectives on public/private space, solidarity and critique that are intrinsically connected with the present time.
In 1979, on the day of President Tito’s visit to Zagreb, the artist Sanja Iveković carried out an 18-minute performance titled Triangle (1979) on her balcony. She went out and started to read a book, drink a whisky, and made gestures as if she was masturbating until a security official arrived and ordered her inside. Do such domestic spaces still have the potential to be subversive and make a public statement, as Ivekovic's balcony did in the late 1970s?
During this time of global isolation, virtual space, as well as the windows, balconies or facades of our homes have taken on the role and importance of town squares for collective expression, while also blurring the boundaries between public and private spheres. Artists in Quarantine is a modest way to contribute to the conversation about the effects of the current pandemic, redeliberating the communication channels that have influenced the present perception and consumption of information, as well as rethinking the potentiality of existing spaces.