LA Art Documents is exploring the pandemic’s impact on the way artists from around the world operate and engage with their practice in a new series of artist profiles we’re aptly calling BREAK OUT! Here’s a sampling of responses for Series 3: Global Impact featuring works by: Jordi Alós (Mexico), DURA (Germany), Zainab Mehmood (Pakistan), Branko Milisković (Serbia), Leonardo Ibáñez Valenzuela (Chile) – and more…
Zainab Mehmood (Pakistan) @zainabmehmood5201
Artist Statement : 1. Social Distancing In times like this, it’s essential we support one another and show compassion to those who need it. This is a shared experience that’s stressful for everyone – and we don’t know how long it’s going to go on for.
Fortunately, positive social support can improve our resilience for coping with stress. So use the phone and if you can, and gather a group of people to stay in touch with.
2. Fear of Coronavirus A rapidly-spreading epidemic can be a particularly tough time for people with preexisting mental health conditions like anxiety or obsessive-compulsive disorder, points out Holman. That’s where social support networks are crucial: “I would recommend that people who tend to be more anxious connect in a safe way with people in their lives who they trust; who can help them calm down; and … who they can turn to for support.”
I’m a contemporary realist artist seeking representation. A large number of people are currently teleworking, confined to their homes. We probably have free time to fill at home. While nothing can replace the intense experience of a live orchestral concert, or the unique encounter with art in museums and galleries, thanks to the digital platforms, art is just a click away. And there is much evidence to show that art and culture contribute to our wellbeing, serenity, inspiration, intellectual stimulation and resilience in facing challenges.
The photo work entitled “Far…far away…” was originally performed as durational live performance, back in 2009 in Amsterdam. I was holding binoculars steady for four hours intending to find what I was looking for, eventually unable to see. It was an incredibly emotional task, pretty exhausting, both mentally and physically, the tears were rolling down and my eyes were getting swollen and inflamed. Eleven years later, I have decided to recreate this concept of searching for love that is lost or never intended to happen, in the medium of photography. In this day and age, with traveling restrictions, physically disconnected humans, contemporary plague, new political order, Far…far away… is becoming ever more relevant.
While outside the world seems to be in a surrealistic situation because of CODIV-19 perfuses the news, people around me starting to organize a concept of being at home, meeting just a certain circle of friends or their flat mates. It feels like everyone is very affected by the situation – because, some of them lose their jobs or get no new commissions. I look out of the window observe the Armageddon and feel the fear about existential loss because of a virus, which everyone could have, even me.
Not really knowing, how this situation will change in my life, I was not really motivated to create a CODIV-19 rescue plan. I already don’t go in clubs, meet lots of friends or need social contacts. I’m more than happy to stay home and to concentrate on my work. So, for me, to be in quarantine make many things easier- I don’t need an excuse to stay home.
First thing that came to my mind was to have just one person who spends time with me. Springtime has also affected, of course. This romantic idea, a love story during the quarantine, was one of the fundamentals for my new project.
What is really annoying about this quarantine time is, that I can ́t go to the gym for training, that there is no place to get a good beer on tap (I don ́t like beer from bottles) and that DIY markets are closed. Everything you wanted to buy online, is already sold or the prices get high.
So I needed to build my new quarantine boyfriend in my studio, with stuff I already have. Also, there is no workshop open to build a setting. Another thing I’m developing is to program 3D animations. For me it is an experiment to combine installations and 3D programming. How can a virtual person and an object really participate on your life? How can this created world become authentic? To find this points between sculpturing/installation and virtuality is the center work at the moment.
This character I am creating, is a person who likes to lay in the garden. He is a heavy and athletic person, who likes to wrestle. He is made for fighting sport: punching, kicking, throw on the floor. He is a figure you can let out all your aggressions on. He is like your best friend, brother and somehow lover together.
His body language has also another meaning – he looks like he wants to be hugged. For that, however, he is constructed, which means that he goes crazy by having closeness.
This work also shows, how too much romantic or ideal of closeness can cause disorder to people. I live in Leipzig / Germany in my studio with two dogs and a blind cat. We have the option to use a small yard with lots of sun. For me there is no real distance between living and working.
This is my art work in visual_poetry where I express what I and we feel. Actually I am in Chile, country that is suffering the corona virus 19. “Pese a todo no lograrás doblegar nuestro espíritu de lucha ”Despite everything you will not be able to break our spirit of struggle.