The pandemic has an impact on our lives and will probably have one for the years to come. The IN SITU network first had to face a series of festivals cancellations and is still in the middle of finding ways to overcome the situation and to continue supporting the artists working in public space.
Since a few weeks though, new projects are emerging, as the IN SITU partners are working with artists to reinvent our relationship with this public space that has been transformed worldwide almost overnight:- some projects can still happen in public space,- other are being rethought to reach the audience where they are, in the digital space, by phone, or directly in their homes, or even in the streets,- new projects are on the way to respond to the drastic changes of our societies: social and physical distancing, need of gratitude for all the workers maintaining the first needs (health, food, education), raise of social inequalities and economic crisis, uncertainty of the future, need for solidarity…
Below you will find some examples, and a dialogue is on the way to share with artists and citizens the challenges of this new situation.
More to come soon, stay tuned and stay safe!
The UK artistic duo Hunt & Darton will broadcast Norfolk & Norwich Festival does Radio Local, a daily live show throughout the festival period of this year's Norfolk & Norwich Festival, which was set to take place from 8 to 24 May 2020. "We want to bring some festival flair to your homes, so each day NNF20 artists will join the show so you can still get your yearly festival dose with classical and contemporary music, cabaret, circus and more!" (Hunt & Darton, 2020) The full line-up will be announced shortly together with online initiatives from the festival. Get involved and read more here!
This performance by choreographer Joanne Leighton involves 732 citizens who take turns watching over the city for a year, every morning and every evening. In these troubled times, the watchmen mark a continuity and prove that creation can persist thanks to citizen solidarity. In Graz (AT), the participants watch over the city from their windows. Find more information about the project here.
Metropolis has invited 100 artists living in Copenhagen to create 100 curated walks through the city over the next 100 days starting 1 May, a day of collective walking. This can be seen as a performative diary from a city where the corona virus sets the agenda and has radically changed daily life. Each artist starts at home and walks for 12 hours. Every hour he/she gives a “sign of life” via live-streaming. These signs will be physical actions in the public space and streamed live on Facebook. They may take the form of a reading, a live installation, an improvised dance, a mini concert, a call... Follow them and take a look at a changing city. Read more here!
Wa(l)king the city – based on the curatorial concept by Trevor Davies, artistic director of Metropolis, Wa(l)king Copenhagen – aims at developing a series of artistic interventions in public space. The participating artists will explore the changing city through their artistic micro-actions – thus creating „a diary from a surreal daily life filled with uncertainty and anxiety, but also with room for hope, creativity and a sense of community”. In the frame of the event series 20 artists – one artist in every 2-3 days – will create a 5-hour long walk in the city and stream the micro-actions live on Facebook. Click here to read more.
Dániel Makkai and The Transforming Association are working on an alternative proposal to their artistic project Apocalypse Training. The project is conceived originally as a site-specific and cooperative adventure game that offers a playful encounter with our innermost fears. The artists have been developing Apocalypse Hotline, a storytelling game which unfolds over a phone call. The proposal is similar to a tabletop role-playing game or an interactive radio play. More to come soon! See the initial project here.
Giving Voice to the Unspoken, the new project by Aswarm & Thor McIntyre-Burnie, is inspired by and drawing on The Speakers project - a site-responsive installation and construct, designed to inhabit public spaces. The new project seeks to capture how people are 'finding-their-voice' in times of the pandemic on a micro domestic to macro international level, and wants to explore how the art of empathetic listening can be the antidote to opportunistic authoritarian governments. Read more about the artists here!
In Memoriam is an artwork by Luke Jerram commissioned by The Weston Arts + Health Weekender for presentation on Weston-super-Mare beach (UK), once the COVID-19 lockdown in the UK has ended. The installation is a temporary memorial for the public. The artwork is also made in tribute to all the NHS staff members and volunteers who have been risking their lives during the pandemic. Created from bed sheets, the flags will be arranged in the form of a medical logo. Read more about the artist here!
Pop-up Civilisation is a participatory art project about decision-making processes within communities: a game, where participants are invited to become an original community and discuss the basic principles of any human society. The development of the project, initially called The Snowball Effect, began in 2018 in Sri Lanka and was then developed in working sessions between France, Kosovo, Czech Republic and Italy in 2019. In 2020, as a response to the current health crisis, Eﬀetto Larsen has developed a new online format to make people aware of their role in desiring and building a diﬀerent society. A new online version is currently being tested and will exist along - together and/or separtely - to the real life project, to continue the research about the sense of community. Read more here!
The UK production Kaleider and Andy Wood have come up with an altered proposal to their artistic project Robot Selfie. This production is conceived originally as an installation in public space: the proposal is a robot capable of reproducing in drawing the faces of the public on different building facades. In response to Covid-19 and the need of people to feel more together at this difficult time, the idea was declined in a web version with A Portrait Without Borders. As Northern Italy has been affected by particularly high contagion rates from Covid-19, the artists wanted to send physical representations to stand alongside the people in solidarity. Check out the website, capture your selfie, see the "AI-drawing" of it, and then submit it, to be drawn by a robot in an empty venue in Milan. Take part and find all information here!
Collectief Walden and architecture students of BME University in Budapest are re-designing the 2016 IN SITU production WINDSTILLEVEN. One objective of this European and cross-functional collaboration is to create a lighter and more compact set of the project. The artists are excited that the project has been able to continue after lockdown, with visits to Budapest effectively replaced by intensive online exchanges with teachers, producers, site experts and the students. Read more here.
Compelled by social developments in Greece and all over Europe, Alexandros Mistriotis is focusing on contemporary orality, history and its formative influence on public space. The Reception project is part of a larger collaboration that stretched across six residency periods with Østfold Internasjonale Teater in the region of Østfold (NO) beginning in June 2017. The podcast is based upon a four and a half hour artistic urban walk created in and for the town of Moss in 2018. More to come soon! See the presentation of his work here.
And many others!