First of all I genuinely hope you’re able to hold up in these strange times and that your families and friends are safe and healthy. We’re facing a worldwide crisis and I hope we can help and support each other in regulating and curing this by not spreading the virus. I also hope that overcoming COVID-19 will inspire us in finding a way to heal our global society and our approach to climate and profit.
I’m well aware that this situation is an immediate financial disaster for many in our field of arts, culture and heritage and I want you to know that behind the scenes the institutions, unions, intermediaries and governments are working hard to manage this acute problem. This week the secretary of Kunsten ’92, where I’m a board member, had a crisis meeting with all unions and the minister of Culture. You can follow next steps on social media.
As Kunstfort we were still closed for Winter. I now closed the offices too and we’re working from home at regular hours. Our next program, Free the Kunstfort, is planned for 18 and 19 April and for now we’ll just stick to this or find another solution. We’ll decide the weeks before if this can go on. We plan to pay these artist fees either way – so also in case of lastminute cancellation.
For the Spring (3 May), Summer (12 July) and Fall (20 Sept, 1 Nov) openings we keep on preparing. Following the course of the virus in other countries, maybe few of these are doable, and probably very welcome for our audiences by then. We’re moreover creating a virtual network for our community of artists, staff, volunteers and entrepreneurs. You’ll work from us next week. We won’t stop working, nor stop dreaming.
As you know, Kunstfort – a UNESCO fortress in the water Defence Line of Amsterdam – has since 2016 been programming under the umbrella of “science fiction”. It’s painful to experience how the more dystopian storylines within our exhibitions now have become our everyday reality. However, from this year onwards we were already redirecting the theme towards narratives of enchantment, healing and fertility, with still a pinch of imagining alternative realities…
In that line I’d like to cherish the dear hope that our modest program: maybe actually might have a prophetic quality.
Take care and stay healthy,