Archive Mode. Call Creativity in Captivity: responses to COVID 19 ended on 1/15/21, 11:59 PM. Call settings are read only. See Current Open Calls

Judge's Comments

The works selected for this online exhibition underscore the daily lived experience at the height of the global coronavirus pandemic in 2020. The overwhelming impact COVID-19 and its now over nine month "pause" on our regular lives across the entire world were, almost unimaginably, at times overshadowed by contemporary political and economic events.

Every night at 7:00 PM across the world people banged spoons on pots and pans to celebrate frontline healthcare workers. Black Lives Matter protests raged in the streets following the murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and many other people of color across the US. Finally we watched in horror as an armed militia stormed the United States Capitol, instigated by the first President in US history to attempt to destabilize democracy and the peaceful transition of power. It seems almost impossible to address these existential crises.

Instead, in these humble works, we find a wide range of emotion, from outright anxiety and fear of leaving the house, to the almost overwhelming ennui of being trapped at home, daydreaming, like Proust over his madeleines and tea, and playing card games. These works speak to the found hours while artists sheltered in place along with the rest of us far longer than anyone could have anticipated. In this group, one can almost hear the incessant low-grade disquiet, like the grinding of teeth, or a distant car alarm, caused by the profound changes we all experienced to our civil society and domestic life.

Stephen Truax

Stephen Truax is an artist and writer in New York, where he is a director at Cheim & Read.