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Cosa fanno artisti, curatori, musei al tempo della pandemia? Iniziamo con l’intervista a Marita Liulia

L'arte al tempo della pandemia. Abbiamo chiesto a rappresentanti del mondo dell'arte finlandese come convivono con questa situazione di isolamento forzato: progetti, aggiustamenti, storie, riflessioni.

Iniziamo con Marita Liulia, artista che si è misurata nella sua lunga carriera con molti medium (pittura, fotografia, teatro, cd-rom, media digitali, film) e tematiche (la comunicazione di massa, il femminismo, i tarocchi, le religioni, la danza, ma anche il mistero, la morte, la spiritualità). L'artista ha esposto in tutto il mondo e ottenuto prestigiosi riconoscimenti. Ne avevamo parlato su questa piattaforma per esempi qui in occasione del suo ultimo film.

L'intervista è condotta in inglese.


You come from a successful row of recent exhibitions that brought you from Japan to several important museums in Finland. Last summer, for instance, at Didrichsen Art Museum, whose catalogue you graciously put online here. How are you living these incredible times of isolation?

I guessed quite exactly what will happen with Covid-19 pandemia, so I arranged myself a residence from the countryside just before Southern Finland was closed. After good painting period I turned my activity into writing, so I prepare my next book in a lovely countryside house by a lake and go shopping food only once a week with mask and gloves. I find being in nature very balancing in turbulent times like this.

What are you working on in these days, could you keep your activity going?

I have written texts for my next book and as all writers know, isolation is excellent for writing. Nevertheless I miss painting and got permission to paint at my other studio inside a factory in Heinola during Easter holiday and weekends. Then the factory is empty. I was so full of energy I finished 11 paintings during Easter holiday! I have also started collaboration with a photographer with whom I have worked over 30 years. Now we talk and exchange ideas via digital devices we both are familiar with. I also participate several networks of directors and executives online. We talk about current situation and analyze future in economics, health care and culture. In general I must say this period is creative and inspiring for me. But I feel worried like everyone and try to find ways to help others.

Many artists and museums went to social networks to keep in touch with the community. You are active in Facebook. From your private account you tell your work processes, exhibitions, but also your daily life: friends, places, thoughts. How is your relationship with social media?

Social media has always been very important tool for me but I keep it rather professional. I use mainly Facebook and also Instagram. Then I have a list of over 1000 professionals and supporters for my newsletter and send them frequently information. Attached to my last letter I send them Mysterium book pdf version. Naturally in collaboration with the publisher, Didrichsen Art Museum.

How do you think the Finnish art and cultural world will come out of this crisis?

Of course we will come out. We just find new ways to operate and communicate. During this period I have noticed that artists complain less and communicate more. Many are (finally) busy in learning how to utilize new media and bring new ideas and attitudes to their work. In Finland we say that we are more kind and compassionate towards each other during difficult times. We are very proud of our government, which is directed of 5 young women party leaders. They decided immediately to give extra support for artists and small companies. Also private associations have quickly started special programs to support artists.

And what are your plans for the future?

Everything seems to depend now of the schedule of vaccination which will cure Covid-19. I prepare myself to manage and go on at least one year ahead because scientists say that the time they need for creating safe vaccination is minimum one year. (The history of HIV gave us an example.) My recipe for good day is simple: 8 hours sleep, 2 hours exercise, 2 hours cooking and eating, 4 hours communication and entertainment and the rest – creative work. If I keep healthy after one year I will have book ready for publishing and several painting and photography exhibitions ready. If we are then still lockdown, I will publish everything online. But the most important is to keep healthy!