The parties are over. The art fair is dead. As during the Black Plague, worldwide travel and commerce has abruptly stopped. Museum tours and artists’ talks are virtual. The latest buzzword, “viewing rooms,” showing artists’ work online, are the new art fair. We save the work we like, and “trash” the rest.
Technology has been valuable in visualizing the virus and making it “real.” The virus cannot be seen as were the buboes of Black Plague. When we cannot visualize the virus, computer and artist’s images of the virus make it visible, confronting us, scaring us.
Art will document these times, but not yet. Like drawings of hunted bulls in the Lascaux and Altamira caves, by which we acknowledge the existence of those who drew them, and drawings of royalty inside and outside the sarcophagi of ancient Egyptian rulers — art will always be a testament to what was.