Having shaken the life of our global society to its foundations, the COVID-19 pandemic has been the most consequential traumatic collective experience humanity has had to face in quite some time. As yet neither the prospective duration nor the cumulative effects of the pandemic can be gauged to full extent. However, it is indubitable that many of the changes it has triggered are irreversible. The condition referred to as the “New Normal” promises to last not just for long, but for good. The physical and spiritual difficulties of adjusting to the new circumstances pose a challenge to all of us: we must come to terms with our losses; several elements of our habits and mentalities need to be altered. We are forced to revise, reconsider or even radically replace our models that have proven, or seemed, to be functional until now. We are way past stepping out of our comfort zone; we need to redefine our concepts, confines and social conventions.
The current exhibition calls on art to facilitate our perception, sense and interpretation of the diverse aspects of this change. In addition to new pieces reflecting on the current situation, this subjective selection features a number of already existing works that thematise the problems that arise in the new situation, as well as ones that are endowed by the present context with new, current meanings. The themes proposed by the exhibited works include, among diverse approaches to involuntary isolation, such current topics as the issue of social justice, on the global agenda in the wake of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, as well as questions of sustainable environment and future and the possible answers to all of these. We have organised the artworks along six subchapters, emphasising a specific aspect of each work that we regarded as significant in terms of this exhibition, or along the lines of which the work could be redefined from a semantic aspect.
Paradoxically, we are forced to transfer the immediate experience of art into the online space, and although the virtual space cannot substitute direct physical experience, it can transmit the visual and intellectual content of the works, and the 3D model of the interior conveys the arrangement and dynamic of the exhibition.
The exhibition was curated by Orsolya Hegedüs, who, after 11 determinative years does farewell to the gallery, the artists and the audience.