The idea of Virtual Cocoons was conceived just after the start of the first lockdown in Europe, and way before the height of the global crisis that followed.
Our hearts are with those affected by COVID-19, whether it impacted, or still impacts, physical or mental health, family, livelihood, or other sources of stability and joy.
It has been immensely encouraging to see artists around the world respond to this meta-crisis with vigorous, inspired and inspiring work. New social and aesthetic codes are assessed and transformed into possible new normalities; psychological implications are mapped; solutions to keep on dancing are found.
Virtual Cocoons hosts a humble selection of 15 artists, whose work reflects on our involuntary cocooning during lockdowns and quarantine. Times in which we, the privileged ones with secured housing and a fast internet connection, are pushed deeper into our screens, spend hours representing ourselves in zoom-grids, and merge with our digital selves more than ever before.
With privilege, as always, comes responsibility, and the theme of what will emerge when our virtual bubbles pop, has been very present in our minds. Going back to what was ‘normal’ is no option, and we have to collaborate, co-create and use our agency as best as we can to make a healthier, more connected, more caring, more equal world.
With Virtual Cocoons we offer an exploration of isolation, transformation, and coping mechanisms associated with the pandemic. Hints are given at new futures, new ways of life, new selves. We may not be done with our ongoing process of regeneration, solutions may be hard to find, but by sharing these cocoons we hopefully can offer temporary spaces for reflection, insight, joy, and connection.