2020 was a challenge for artists and cultural workers. Existing concepts were challenged and the limitations used to look for alternatives. Art and culture do not work without an audience and that is missing in times of the corona pandemic. Sandip Shah is also certain that nothing will change greatly in the existing situation in the new year.
The -performance artist and painter, who has been running an exhibition space in Seehofstrasse 8a with his “#Inhabited Art Installation” (BKI) for several years, has not only used the past few months to create new works in his studio in Mühlheim. Rather, he has also dealt with the new reality that has arisen as a result of the corona pandemic and developed an idea with which he can continue his work as an exhibition organizer and still keep the necessary distance from others in these times.
Space is reminiscent of living room
His latest project is entitled “ Safe-House”, in which he pursues questions that deal with the current situation in the art and culture industry: How can encounters be possible despite isolation? How can art and communication without virus load Shah has quickly converted his BKI into a Corona-compliant place, in which, as he describes it, people, including risk groups, could in future see and enjoy art safely and without hectic.
The -exhibition room, which with its large white sofa is atmospheric Reminiscent of a living room, is now divided into two parts and is separated by a glass wall. Behind it sits Shah, isolated and yet with a view of the front part of the room – he can coordinate visitor access from there without contact. Communication takes place via a classic window -Intercom system. Fresh air, possibilities for disinfection and distance are guaranteed.
The -performative staging is suitable for him ch a way to visualize what a relaxed freedom through restriction can look like.
An exhibition format is currently developing from this project, for which Shah would like to combine different media – from works of art to recorded quarantine conversations to written letters. He has invited artists to take part, but anyone who is interested can also become part of the planned show with a personal story or thoughts on the corona pandemic by letter, email or through a conversation.
The -written texts have a place in the shop window.
The -exhibition is to open after the current lockdown.
Since the start of the preparations for this, Shah has been inviting interested people and artists individually to quarantine talks in his BKI, which are to be recorded as audio recordings and later become part of a documentation. He has prepared ten questions, including how the interviewee imagines the future of the art industry and what makes him angry in the current situation? “ It’s something new for me to use audio and interview people,” says Shah.
Bring work to the conversation
He also encourages invited artists to bring a work that they can hang up themselves. “
The -idea for the project arose because I’ve hardly met anyone since March 2020,” he says. “I was mainly in my studio and worked a lot.” In the course of the new year, depending on the current Corona measures, other artists will be included in the concept of the “ Safe House” project or they will be represented by a solo exhibition at the BKI. Alexandra Flieth