by Keziah VikranthSep 15, 2023
The sudden emptiness emanating as a result of lockdowns and social distancing measures across the globe has caused confusion and chaos in our hearts and homes, even if quietly. The situation has been tough on everyone for various reasons including economic and emotional. With no exhibition openings to attend and no museums to visit, the initial despair and feeling of loss amongst art lovers all over the world was seemingly inescapable. After almost a week of hearing one piece of bad news after the other, the art world resurrected itself presenting its faithful following with a new world of possibilities through digital interfacing. Now, during phase three, five or ten of lockdown (who can even keep up with the count anymore?), the world of galleries and museums share virtual exhibitions, walkthroughs and discussion panels through platforms such as Instagram, Zoom and others. In a strange way, through isolation and distancing we have become more closely knit. In a radical way, in the midst of an economic shutdown we have found a way to bring our local museums and galleries to a global stage. In a wonderful way, we have learnt to create access at a time when it is most difficult.
As art houses across the world create virtual art experiences and curate month-long event calendars, we are able to get our daily dose of art from the comfort of our couch. From Guggenheim to Tate and many others, we have been able to take a world tour of art today through the new world - the internet. During this otherwise difficult time, art can help lift one’s spirit and take the mind away from the anxieties of the present. The Bass, a contemporary art museum in Miami, opened their virtual branch in the midst of the lockdown. The (Virtual) Bass is a repository of information made available by the museum which includes a variety of free resources from artist interviews, virtual tours and virtual exhibitions to fun home activities like colouring sheets, art classes for children and art-based activity guides. The substantial addition offers us all a little breather while being closed up within our homes.
Shortly after the launch, The Bass inaugurated their first online exhibition on their Instagram page, titled The Bass Squared. The opening reception of the online show was celebrated via Zoom with a talk by curator at The Bass Leilani Lynch and Bruce Pinchbeck of The New Tropic, a Miami-based digital platform. The exhibition is a curated selection of eight films by Moffat and her longtime collaborator Gary Hillberg, titled Montages: The Full Cut, 1999–2015. The show, which presents Moffatt’s work for the first time in the digital context of a virtual exhibition, features Lip (1999), Artist (2000), Love (2003), Doomed (2007), Revolution (2008), Mother (2009), Other (2010), and The Art (2015). The films explore a range of themes and bring alive a world which the viewer might be otherwise entirely unfamiliar with, still somehow finding relatable in their individual contexts. From Mother, which looks at the emotion-driven relationship between mother and child to Revolution, which stands face to face with social hierarchies, the selection of works presents a multitude of subjects for one to ponder. While the opportunity to view works from home is incredible, it is difficult (some might say impossible) to replicate the feeling of a well-curated exhibition.
Tracey Moffatt is an Australian filmmaker, video artist, and photographer. Her work references her own childhood memories and fantasies, exploring issues of childhood trauma, aboriginal people, and Australian media. In 1982, she received a BA in Visual Communications from Queensland College of Art, and in 1989 had her first solo show at the Australian Centre for Photography in Sydney. Moffatt was selected for the Cannes Film Festival in 1990 and 1993, and was chosen to show her work for the Venice Biennale in 1997. The exhibition featuring her works can be seen on The Bass Squared’s Instagram page.
Click here to visit the Instagram page.