“The Digit ditches the Darkness” curated by REGINA FRANK selecting work from the exhibition “Sem Limites” looking specifically at the way artists deal(t) with the confinement during COVID-19. For this selection Regina Frank asked each artist participating how the pandemic influenced their practices.
Even before COVID-19 became a reality in our lives, I was delving into a number of themes that can be linked to the recent lockdown. Certainly with the works from the Roadworks series, I touched a point that later became reality: changing routes, blocking the road or the access to a place, now evoke memories of the limited space that was and often still is available to us. My Jersey Barriers can also be included in this series of works. They are copies of concrete blocks that I transformed into ceramic objects, which I placed at the entrance of exhibitions thus limiting the space to the visitors.
The Fakestones, chosen by Regina for her part of the “sem-limites”-echibition, were initiated before but further refined during the isolation. For these works, I used several of the moulds that I made over the years from stones and pieces of street. I filled them with recycled clay. After drying, I drew lines and scribbled on the works with a graphite pencil.
On the one hand, the work has a reference to the time we were locked up in our houses: that which is outside, there on the street, outside our reach is brought inside, into the safe seclusion of our houses. On the other hand, the work refers to the question of what is real, what is fake? And in that sense it refers to the uncertainty that people increasingly feel: what is real in the whole story, what is not, is it real or does it seem like it?
COVID-19 deprived me of the opportunity to work on the street as an artist, which is an important part of my practice. Instead of using my silicone mobile lab, I took to the streets with my camera on silent moments and was able to take pictures for my artist’s book about pink walls. I would not have been able or even willing to take many of the photos under normal circumstances.
The months of isolation also gave me time to look with new eyes at the work I have been developing spontaneously for several years and it gave me the opportunity to look at some of them with new eyes and took some ideas which until then remained in embryonic state, out of the closet.