The world’s biggest museums and art hubs have gone virtual through the lockdown period to help people experience culture from home. It sure does feel as though art finds a way even as the world copes with these extraordinary times. The latest to join in is the art community of Berlin. By Manya Saini

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus has brought exhibitions and art galleries to a temporary halt as the world practices social distancing, but the lockdown hasn’t stopped a group of creative artists in East Berlin from exhibiting their work. The team took to the windows and balconies of their homes to create delightful creations for the onlookers.

 

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“Die Balkone: Life, art, pandemic, and proximity” exhibition was put together with a collection of 50 creatives in the Prenzlauer Berg district organised by the Universität der Künste Berlin ( Berlin University of the Arts). It was curated and conceptualised by Joanna Warza and Ovul Durmusoglu on the idea that it will have “zero budget, no opening, and no crowds.” The audience for the exhibition were locals, and the idea was to help them cope and find connection with life and art.

The installations ranged from black and white photos of balconies in other cities, poetry clipped to clotheslines to multiple kites in an array of sizes and shapes. One of the artists described the importance of her work as, “lockdown doesn’t mean to lock in our thoughts.”

 

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The curators chose balconies for their unique representation among people today as they form the threshold of the private and public, signifying kinship, solidarity, and hope. People today find momentary solace and freshness even as they are confined from the windows and balconies of their homes.

There have been shifts in how the world conceives a lot of its long-standing institutions, one of them being art and culture through the pandemic, however, the community has shown resilience and determination to survive. Small gestures and initiatives like this go a long way in instilling positivity and hope in all of our hearts.

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