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Art in Quarantine — Colin Ginks

UMBIGO invited several artists to reflect on the era we are living in and to think about their artistic production in quarantine times.

Project by the artist Colin Ginks.

Colin Ginks, (Un)natural Virus, 2020. Text, video with manipulated sound, 24 seconds

As we each go about our days, and negotiate our response to this assault on our perceived wellbeing, our instinct to survive begs a rethink.

I have always been under assault, as a very visible faggot, as someone without a college degree, as someone financially precarious (in other words, one step away from being homeless), as an outsider in very entrenched hierarchies, as someone socially awkward and easily discouraged in the art world where I’m told my expression matters less than theirs, or that of their friends. My life is exhausting and continues to be so now. Most days since the virus took hold, I’ve woken with a migraine and nausea that stays with me all day long till my head hits the pillow.

But that’s OK. It’s my choice. I chose this life and I am proud of it. The thing is, I imagine you are feeling it yourself too. You didn’t choose this. Inbuilt insecurity, in the blink of an eye. Wow. The poetic irony in that. Maybe you were more insecure than you thought. Some of us lashed themselves passionately – and profitably – to a system that was clearly untenable and are now staring into the abyss. I do have a degree of sympathy, they have mouths to feed, SUVs to pay off. Few have the absolute moral high ground. Just because I know how to draw, but not how to mercantilize culture for profit doesn’t automatically make me a better person.

Many morally superior people I know are just atrocious assholes.

How’s your inner life? Many now have no choice but to fill it with thought. Do your thoughts scare you? It’s either that or binge-watch more crap, created in a world that now no longer exists. At some point that content will dry up.

I have no idea where this is going, and I think it’s plain our leaders don’t either.

Privilege still ripples through society, still murdering black guys in the street, still forcing low-paid unskilled workers back to work to build spaceship follies.

I don’t want to go back to how things were before this, and I take comfort from that – it’s all I have. Do you?

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