Glasgow International launches digital programme amidst COVID-19 lockdown
- Deborah Chu
- 20 April 2020
The contemporary art biennale will feature new online commissions by Alberta Whittle, Jenkin van Zyl, Yuko Mohri and Liv Fontaine
Glasgow International has revealed details of a new digital programme, which will take place in lieu of their physical festival this year, available via their website from 23 April to 10 May. Though the COVID-19 outbreak necessitated the postponement of the world-renowned contemporary art biennale, festival organisers will now bring work from the cutting-edge of the art world straight to our homes, featuring newly-commissioned work by Jenkin van Zyl, Yuko Mohri, Alberta Whittle and Liv Fontaine, as well as pieces by Georgina Starr, Urara Tsuchiya and Sarah Forrest, which were originally meant to feature at the 2020 festival.
Most of the new work featured in the digital programme were made under lockdown conditions, and many directly speak to our current situation. Whittle's work, business as usual: hostile environment, is a work-in-progress piece originally commissioned by EventScotland in support of Scotland's Year of Coasts and Waters. The work – which explores intersections between political and ecological climates, focussing on the role of waterways in human migration throughout history, both voluntary and involuntary – has been adapted to explore issues around the Windrush scandal, as well as the immigrant healthcare workers who are currently working at the frontline of the pandemic.
Japanese artist Yuko Mohri will be expressing the surreal lockdown conditions many are experiencing around the world in a new video work, which splices scenes from films which are devoid of people, with moments of domestic claustrophobia taken from Yasujirō Ozu's 1953 film Tokyo Story. Liv Fontaine, whose body of work explores the political dimension inherent within sex and relationships, will also be presenting a new video work created under lockdown in Glasgow, while Jenkin van Zyl will be exhibiting panoramic video work shot in Iceland before the UK announced its lockdown in March.