"Artists spend months, even years, working on a gallery show. What if no one sees it?" by Leah Ollman
Farrah Karapetian's recent exhibition, "The Photograph is Always Now," is profiled in a LA Times feature about the impact of COVID-19 closures on artists and galleries
Art galleries stand darkened, empty of viewers. Like time capsules, their contents give evidence of the present day, sealed away like relics. Most shows cannot be visited, but they also aren’t coming down. They remain, like so much else, in a state of suspension.
What about the artists, whose efforts of the last months or even years lack a physical audience? Their work is finished and installed, but without viewers, is it complete? Does art need to be seen the way a tree falling in the forest needs to be heard? ...
... Numerous shows with start dates just before the shutdown order have been extended in hope that they might still glean some live traffic when public hours can resume. In the meantime, galleries have stepped up their online presence, offering virtual viewing rooms, streaming walk-throughs and digital catalogs. But there’s broad agreement that nothing can substitute for the encounter in real space, or what Farrah Karapetian describes as “the call and response of physical interactivity.” The scale, sound and texture of her photographic and sculptural work, which had to be paused at Diane Rosenstein Gallery, cannot be fully conveyed online.
“It’s an entirely different sensory experience in person,” she said. Almost the entire show derived from iPhone captures, and now “it’s funny, it goes in a loop — from the phone, through this emotional and physical process, and back,” she said.
Click here to read the full article on the LA Times website.