From the depths of Melbourne’s COVID-19 Stage 4 lockdown, TarraWarra Museum of Art has commissioned a new series of artistic inquiries that will explore the role of art in a global pandemic. The series, titled Art as essential activity: an inquiry, is conceived of and curated by Melbourne-based independent curator Biljana Ciric.
The first project in the series will be NY/China-based Chinese-American artist Jasphy Zheng with Stories from the Room, a participatory work that collects personal writings about the shared experience of living through the COVID-19 pandemic. The artist now invites anyone to permanently contribute their reflections, journals, or memos to help build a living archive that documents this unique moment in history. Earlier this year, Stories from the Room was staged at the Center for Contemporary Art, Kitakyushu, Japan, where it received submissions from people living through the pandemic from across Japan and further afield, including Wuhan, China, and the USA.