1. Open call
February 10th, 2020
Post from the (1st) Lockdown
The current Coronavirus epidemic has caused disruption for many activities in China and all over the world, forcing people to stay home or in quarantine centres.
It is very hard from the UK to understand what the reality of the situation is, when media of various countries have been accusing each other of propaganda or cover-ups, and misinformation is viral across social media.
Post from the Lockdown is looking for drawings, paintings or poems on paper, as well as other forms of expression, by artists in areas of China affected by the lockdown. Depending on the quantity of submissions, Post from the Lockdown will choose to show the works either online, in publication format or as an exhibition. Further details of this will ensue.
Contributions must be produced exclusively during the Coronavirus outbreak by people who endured the lockdown.
The preference is for physical letters to be posted. If post is not an option, artists can send images of their work by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The deadline for works to be sent by post and emails sent is 30th March, 2020.
The aim is to reach as many artists affected by the lockdown in the given time period. Please share this email and do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions. We are also looking for volunteers for the project in London — for translation of text contributions and other administrative help. Please contact us if you would like to volunteer your time to the project.
“封城来信”希望在受封城影响的地区寻找艺术家在纸上绘画, 绘画, 诗歌以及其他表达方式的记疫作品。根据提交的数量，“锁定”中的“邮政”将选择以在线，出版物，或展览形式展示作品。进一步的细节将在后面介绍。
2. To all artists on April 5th, 2020
I hope you and all your loved ones are well.
Things have changed very fast since we drafted the open call for ‘Post from the Lockdown’. I write to you from my own isolation in London, while my family in Italy lives in the area, which has been hit the worse by Covid-19.
I thank all of you for your beautiful contributions.
The exhibition that we were planning will have to take another format. We originally conceived the show as an exhibition of small works that could travel in an envelope, but since the post-office was inaccessible, the majority of the artists have sent works by email, most of which are not suitable to be printed.
Even more importantly, all public spaces in the United Kingdom have closed as of Friday 20 March 2020 and we are expecting them not to re-open for at least three months.
The beginning of my lockdown seems to coincide with the end of yours. For our exhibition, I’m currently looking for institutional partners to publish the contributions in a book or online, while looking for ways to organize an exhibition with some of the works when the lockdown in Europe is over. I will keep you updated on all developments and ensure I get your permission before publishing material online.
A friend from China told me that some people in the art community there have quoted Theodor Adorno's "To write poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric" in reference to the art response to the Covid-19 outbreak.
I need to disagree with that, since receiving your work has brought an invaluable insight into the situation that we were about to face in Europe. This art project has prepared me both practically and psychologically, more than any communication from the government or article that I’ve read in the newspapers.
Two months ago, when I first heard about the epidemic, I wanted to hear directly from artists in the Hubei region what was happening, since I didn’t trust the political and media filters between us. When the virus started appearing in Europe, many people maintained a complete disbelieve on the severity of what was happening.
Many people in Europe, and firstly our politicians were in disbelief and denial of the danger we were facing. Europe has not had a large-scale epidemic for 100 years and somehow many people didn’t imagine it could be possible. In Italy already 11,500 people died. In the meanwhile, in the UK, where I live, school stayed open, while there were hundreds of new cases everyday (they closed only last week).
Through this process I realized that, although in Europe internet is mainly uncensored, our information outlets also have many faults. Here everyone has the right to publish their opinion, even if their opinion is a lie. This paired with internet algorithms that present us mainly with information that we are prone to like, places us into an echo-chamber, where we find proofs that reinforce whichever opinion we originally had.
Here in London, many of my friends, who have full access to data from the World Health Organisation, were still believing there was no difference between Covid-19 and any other strong flue until 10 days ago.
After the first shock of the quarantine in Europe, people have started seeing the positive outcomes on the environment that our staying put and consuming less has achieved.
Politically as well, the state has finally started to give more support to the healthcare system, to house homeless people, to give financial help to those in need. All things that, before the epidemic, were deemed impossible in the current economic context.
We are wondering what our lives will be after the lockdown ends.
There is the possibility that going back to our previous habits may not be an option, but even if it was, I think that many people want to take the upcoming months as an opportunity to make a better dream.
As I begin my isolation and I congratulate you on the end of yours, I would like to thank you for keeping me two months ahead. I’ll keep looking at what you are doing to know more about my future.
当初邀请小型作品，本是希望可以通过平信邮寄。但现在，一是大多数的邮局皆停止营业；二是艺术家们很多选择了通过电子邮件发送了作品，并不适合印刷。 更重要的是，眼下英国所有的公共场所已于2020年3月20日星期五关闭，并预计至少未来的三个月内不会重新开放。 我经历封城的开始，似乎对应了你们封城的结束。
来自中国的朋友告诉我，在艺术圈普遍认同西奥多·阿多诺 Theodor Adorno 所说的 “奥斯维辛之后，写诗是野蛮的”，只有沉默才是针对Covid-19所爆发的艺术回应。
在欧洲首次封城后，人们开始看到生态环境方面的积极效果。 在政治上，国家终于开始对医疗保健系统提供更多支持，安置无家可归者，向有需要的人提供财政帮助。 在流行病之前，这些都是为了维护经济所不被认可的举措。