Spinach is growing from seed, peas are sprouting and random veggies are pickling even if it´s not the season. But then again: what are seasons anymore at this point?
Alina Lupu, 27 March 2020
During the second half of March 2020, condemned to life indoors because of a worldwide pandemic, TAAK and artist Alina Lupu became involved in a conversation about the state of the covid-19 crisis at the time. At that point, it was nearly – if not entirely – impossible to walk the streets without restrictions. More than ever, social and economic inequalities became apparent. In the spring of 2020, we concluded: “Now that the use and experience of the social domain are changing drastically, the question concerning public space is put into a different light. Although we doubted whether (artistic) productivity should be our main concern, TAAK and Alina shared an interest in reflecting upon the rapidly changing situation.”
At the invitation of TAAK, Alina wrote a series of blog posts – to stay aware, (re)consider, reach out, and connect. Or, as she wrote in one of her emails: “to discuss what other things are public, and what things can become public, triggered by the current crisis.” The articles appeared periodically, as text and audio files, under the overarching title Our New Normal, part of TAAK’s In Quarantine project.
There were several questions that Alina asked in her work: How is public space defined? Who does public space belong to? What systems sustain us? Are these visible to us at all times and if not, how do we make them visible? How to avoid exploitative systems? How to build new structures? How to work differently as artists? The questions and themes she specifically touched upon in Our New Normal were those of labor, time, tourism, housing, capitalism, and institutional critique.
As a year passed, we’d now like to carry the exchange forward, towards the future, discussing how collective (artistic) practices develop within a public domain, with its shifting nature, taking on new challenges and demands.
Using Alina’s texts as the starting point for dialogue, we asked four authors – Friedrich von Borries, Carmen Salas, Liza Prins, and Maisa Imamović – to respond to the still precarious situation, from their own artistic or research-oriented practices.
Now, in the spring of 2021, their multifaceted responses will begin appearing on the TAAK website, reminding of how the seeds we plant take hold and grow in the long term, in various directions.