This is a permanently updated post by the newsroom ARTE!Brasileiros on the impacts of the pandemic of the new coronavirus, in the set of international events of the circuit. Thus, as the news is announced – in relation to the postponement or confirmation of events and fairs, creation of state funds to help cultural institutions and artists, etc. – this post will be modified to keep our reader informed.
In the last update:
Update of the international agenda of events still confirmed
March 14th to June 8th: Sydney Biennale (remains but will be moved to a digital environment)
May 28 to May 31: Art Paris
June 13th to September 13th: 11th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art
June 25th to June 28th: ArtBrussels
June 25th to July 1st: Masterpiece London
August 29 to November 29: Venice Architecture Biennale
September 1st to September 3rd: Gallery Weekend Berlin
September 15th to 20th: Art Basel
October 3rd to December 13th: Opening of the main exhibition São Paulo Biennial
October 31st to November 4th: TEFAF New York, spring edition
November 19th to November 26th: Art Cologne
History of Closures and Suspensions
On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the pandemic of Covid-19, a disease caused by the new coronavirus (Sars-Cov-2). Before that, the state of health emergency in Brazil had already been decreed, even before the first confirmed case, on the 26th of February. In Brazil, until April 11.340, 22 confirmed cases of coronavirus were recorded - the Ministry of Health is releasing a daily balance sheet with updated numbers. Given the increase in cases, quarantine measures are scheduled to continue for a longer time, estimating that until April XNUMX it is recommended to stay at home. In the state of São Paulo, for example, the quarantine - which had been established on March 24th – was extended until May 10th to face the uncontrolled acceleration of covid-19.
Without exception, the art world is also being affected; some Brazilian cultural institutions have already taken agile measures as a way of seriously responding to the crisis, in the state of São Paulo the opening of the exhibition Tarsila: studies and notes, scheduled for March 14, at the FAMA Museum – Marcos Amaro Art Factory, in Itu, was postponed. The new date for the opening of the show will be decided soon, based on the guidelines of the health authorities.
On the night of March 12, SP-Arte confirmed its suspension. The event would take place in São Paulo between April 1 and 5. The organization released a note in which it states that it is “committed to ensuring the safety and health of exhibitors and visitors” and that, therefore, the suspension until there are adequate conditions for the event is necessary. In the morning, another important Latin American art fair also postponed the event: arteBA, which would take place between April 16 and 19. The new date should be announced when there are safe conditions, according to an official note.
In New York, following the emergency declaration made by Mayor Bill de Blasio at a press conference on the afternoon of March 12, art institutions in the metropolis announced a collective closing to help contain the transmission of the coronavirus and ensure the health and safety of your staff and visitors. The movement led by the Metropolitan Museum of Art – MET also included the Frick Collection, the Neue Galerie, the Jewish Museum and the Queens Museum.
On April 13, in an email to the MoMA PS1 team, director Kate Fowle stated that the current situation is the most serious crisis that the institution has ever faced and that its impacts could be felt not only in the following months, but also but also in the years to come. In the message, Fowle explains that 80% of the museum's $600.000 monthly expenses are dedicated to payroll and staff benefits. By May 1, the museum has committed to paying all employees their full salary and benefits. After the date, PS1 will place the majority of its employees, across all departments, on furlough, altogether forty-seven workers – who together make up more than 70% of the museum's staff. Significant salary reversals of five to 40% will be implemented for the remaining staff with salaries above $70.000. The museum will continue to cover full health benefits for those currently receiving coverage until July 31, by which time MoMA PS1 expects to be the limit for employees to return on leave.
The PS1's older brother, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, in a fundraising initiative, has put more than 100 classic titles for sale on the MoMA Design Store website. In the collection are historical monographs, antique instruction books, publications on painting and sculpture from the museum's collection, their prices range from $25 to $2.500, and the proceeds will go towards exhibitions and education programs.
Also New Yorker MET is experiencing economic turmoil that has led to the layoff of 81 employees in its visitation services and retail departments. The museum has said in the past that it will likely remain closed until July and expects a shortfall of $100 million in revenue. Along with the news of the layoffs, it was reported that museum executives would receive pay cuts, the museum director and president had voluntary cuts of 20%.
On March 16, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a change in the government's strategy to address the transmission of the coronavirus. Johnson called for all theaters and pubs to be closed, especially in the London area. While no clear direction has been given as far as artistic institutions are concerned, the Tate group has announced that it will no longer open its 4 galleries – Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Tate Liverpool, and Tate St Ives – until May 1, as a measure. of precaution taken unilaterally between the board and the director of the Maria Balshaw group.
Shortly after the announcement, the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Serpentine Galleries followed suit. Not long ago, the Tate had opened major exhibitions in its galleries, such as the Andy Warhol retrospective, expected to be a blockbuster; a major solo by Theaster Gates; and the work Fons Americanus commissioned to Kara Walker for the Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern.
On the other hand, cultural institutions in Europe and China are taking virtual initiatives to circumvent the crisis and bring art to a public that is currently isolated.
In Germany, Culture Minister Monika Grütters pledged state financial aid to cultural institutions and artists whose economic survival could be threatened by the epidemic. Grütters' rogative was reverberated by Chancellor Angela Merkel, and less than two weeks later, a press release released by the culture ministry announces €50 billion support provided, through the state-owned development bank Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau, specifically for small businesses and freelancers, including those from cultural, creative and media sectors.
On April 22, small museums in the German state of Brandenburg, Germany, began reopening their doors, echoing the apparent success of German attempts to combat the coronavirus. The decision comes accompanied by recommendations from the Brandenburg Association of Museums that include building plexiglass shields for ticket collection, requiring masks and limiting visitors. Timetables for vulnerable visitors such as children, the elderly and the disabled are also being considered. Safety guidelines such as these will be followed throughout the country, which explains why institutions in Germany's largest metropolitan centers are not expected to reopen before the beginning of May; According to Berlin Mayor Michael Müller, state museums, including the Altes Museum, the Hamburger Bahnhof and the Bodes Museum, will be able to reopen on May XNUMXth.
In the United Kingdom, the Council of England for the Arts (ACE) announced an action plan to help the cultural sector withstand the coronavirus crisis, including artists and freelancers who may suffer economic damage due to the pandemic. The Council's full package includes £90m for the more than 800 organizations it supports across its national portfolio, and a further £50m that will be made available to organizations that do not receive regular funding from the Council. already pTo offer relief to individual artists and freelancers in the creative industry – who were not sufficiently covered by the existing rescue package – a £20 million rescue was also made available. The Council is a public body that invests government and National Lottery Fund money into arts and cultural initiatives and institutions across England.
In London, Serpentine Galleries – together with Judy Chicago, Jane Fonda, critic Hans Ulrich Obrist and artist Swoon – launched the Create Art For Earth project in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. “It's time to use our talents for survival.”, says the project's appeal. Following the line of virtual initiatives, people from all over the world can submit their own creations to the campaign through a corresponding hashtag. “An effort to flood the world with art that presents images of healing, caring, repairing and uniting.” A selection of the works will be exhibited on the internet by Galerias Serpentine. Create Art For Earth is supported by Greenpeace and the National Museum of Women in the Arts.
In Italy – where measures such as the closing of “non-essential services” to contain the spread of the virus were announced by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on March 11 -, the director of the Rivoli Castle, Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, has embarked on a marathon to make the museum's exhibits and collections, located near Turin, virtual. She commented, to ArtNet News, this is the museum's “public duty” – which has recently opened 3 special exhibitions – as 60 million Italians have been put into isolation. She added that "it's important for people's state of mind", serving as an alternative to the stream of public health announcements that ends up creating a stressful psychological state. To this end, the museum team has created “virtual tours” of modern and contemporary art of the museum that are being made available on the platform. Digital Cosmos.
in hong kong, ART Power HK, an online platform bringing together galleries, museums and auction houses, was launched to serve as an alternative space for exhibitions, maintain momentum of the local art scene and prevent further destabilization in the art world, given that the epidemic has already caused cancellations of cultural events such as fairs and museum openings. Following these steps, the art basel hong kong created virtual exhibition rooms with four Brazilian galleries, this initiative will be continued in future editions of the fair.