At this point in self-isolation things start going crazy, off-piste. Somewhere between the half-way and three-quarter mark, people get wobbly. It happens to astronauts, cosmonauts and people wintering in Antartica.
One of the last exhibitions I saw was John Akomfrah’s remarkable Future History at Seattle Art Museum.
I went in search of some art distraction online – and this is what I found – which I think you’ll love.
1. Crossing Lines; Basquiat-Haring at NGV.
Crossing Lines, the Haring-Basquiat show, at the National Gallery of Victoria is a masterpiece in gallery immersion.
You can walk through the gallery space, stopping to listen to audio guides or watch video projections. You can stand right in front of your favourite works and relish it without the prospect of someone stepping in front of you.
If you have a VR headset, even basic ones like Google Cardboard, the experience is even better.
2. Navigating Cook at Michael Reid.
It’s the 250th anniversary of Captain Cook charting the East Coast of Australia. Lots of people are simply avoiding having a conversation around this event.
It’s a conversation we need to have. The National Museum of Australia is bringing together first-hand accounts of Cook’s journey.
Michael Reid has curated a compelling exhibition Navigating Cook where archival books, and maps associated with early exploration are juxtaposed with a series of new works from fifteen contemporary artists to chart a nation’s changing attitudes to Cook’s first contact.
It’s only through having difficult conversations can we move forward together.
3. Grayson Perry’s Art Club.
Unless you live in the UK, or have clever ways of getting Channel 4 to think you live in the UK, you won’t be able to watch Grayson Perry’s Art Club.
But I totally love this idea. Grayson leads art classes and gets people to send art on a particular theme each week. You can get a preview of what it’s like here on YouTube.
It’s a particularly personal beautiful way to connect with art when we’re stuck at home. Makes me almost feel like I’m cuddling Alan Measles right now.
4. Take a walk through the Rijks Museum
Even if we could never travel again, we can visit some of our favourite museums through Google Arts and Culture. I particularly like the way they have broken the Rijks virtual tour into different sections, depending on what you love – paper, etchings, baroque.
My favourite is the detailed gaze on particular works, like The Milkmaid. In fact, you can get much closer this way than the artwork in real life. You can choose a new artwork to visit every day.
5. Buy artwork for yourself.
I know I have been banging on about this for a little while. Even though we are in the worst financial crisis since The Great Depression, if you can buy art, buy art now. Artists and galleries need your help now more than any time.
I also am finding Harley Manifold’s workstrangely comforting in these isolating times.