Curating under Lockdown: Die Balkone, Streets, Lines, Walks, Drips, and Drops Övül Ö. Durmusoglu and Joanna Warsza in conversation with Elena Sorokina, and Tiago de Abreu Pinto A conversation between Curatorial Intensive alumna Övül Ö. Durmusoglu, Joanna Warsza, Elena Sorokina, and Curatorial Intensive alumnus Tiago de Abreu Pinto, about three interrelated public art projects held in Berlin (Die Balkone), Paris (No Straight Line), and across Chile (Al Aire, Libre), in April and May of this year. The curators presented on the scope of each project and discuss how they activated their communities during quarantine, claimed public space for art and structured their responsive approaches on values of solidarity, generosity, and mutual support.
Die Balkone was a public art exhibition involving artists living in the Berlin district of Prenzlauer Berg, during Easter weekend in April 2020. The project brought life to the neighborhood during quarantine and utilized the artists balconies as an extension of their domestic spaces into the public realm to display work and activate the streets. It was an example of a responsive, independent curatorial project taking place even at a time when art spaces and museums had to remain closed opening other possibilities and raising questions about public art as a social glue overcoming the isolation. Join Övül Ö. Durmusoglu (Curatorial Intensive, Inhotim 12) and Joanna Warsza, co-curators of Die Balkone, in conversation with curators Elena Sorokina and Tiago de Abreu Pinto (Curatorial Intensive, Summer NY 12). Die Balkone shares some characteristics with sister projects co-curated by Sorokina and Natasa Petresin-Bachelez in Paris and Aubervilliers, France, and by de Abreu Pinto in 9 cities in Chile, including Santiago, Viña del Mar, Cabrero, Tucapel, Valparaíso, Copiapó, Paine, Coyhaique and the village of San Fabián de Alico. The four will discuss their inspiration and intentions with these projects, which connected artists and audiences, addressed the social inequalities of #stayathome, and, structurally, were built on solidarity, generosity, and mutual support. All projects succeded to activate public spaces in cities and to engage audiences in spite of the quarantine, the paralysis among museums, and the migration online of many arts programs that followed.
This program was supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.