5 days ago, artistic & general coordinators Agnes Quackels and Barbara Van Lindt from Kaaitheater (Belgium) sent a letter to their audience, sharing their perspective regarding the pandemic situation.
Due to the nature of performing arts and ban on gatherings, the industry is heavily affected. It is at this moment that we couldn’t see more clearly that collective experiences lie in the centre of our work. As they said,
Collective experience and exchange is our point of departure, on whatever scale it may be. We will be led by a search for (alternative) ways of coming together – rather than alternatives to coming together.
The space and the way for people to get together might not be the same anymore. Artists are trying new ways to make work. Arts and culture organisations still keep their archives open to the public. The audience is trying to find the way to see/meet them. There are alternatives for people who long to be closer. But the breath and temperature from living presence cannot be replace. Hopefully soon we all can travel and meet in person and experience together with warmth touches again.
Now that we are taking our collective responsibility by living in isolation and keeping our distance from others, it will not be easy simply to shake off the corona conditioning again when the time comes.
Let us not forget that it is precisely this sense of responsibility – and above all trusting in it – that will ensure that proximity becomes possible again.
A different kind of proximity no doubt, with new rituals and habits, in different forms, in a changing world. That is what we are preparing for.
<An Ode to Proximity>
Agnes Quackels & Barbara Van Lindt