The social distancing season has normalized many things previously abnormal – obsessive handwashing, avoiding human contact, or making toilet paper jokes. But one thing does not have to change: you can still make daily life more enjoyable with culture and art. While you cannot physically go to a cinema or a gallery, you can still participate in film screenings and see exhibitions. How? Look at our list of ways to stay cultured while at home. This week: visual art, photography, and music!
Now Exhibiting – On Your Screen
The top option for browsing through galleries’ collections must be Google’s Arts and Culture portal, where you can find many of the world’s biggest players in the art game. And so, the museums you can visit with a click range from Tate Modern and the British Museum, to the Rijksmuseum, to Louvre, to Uffizi Gallery in Florence, to MoMA and Guggenheim in NYC, to Museo Frida Kahlo in Mexico City. And speaking about Frida Kahlo, if you want to feel an even more personal connection with art, take a tour around the studio-house of hers and Diego Rivera. Alongside following 8 different virtual paths, you can browse through a vast collection of 207 personal photographs as well as pieces of art exhibited at the house.
For most of the featured galleries, you can scroll through entire exhibitions online, and then for some, you can even walk through the museum using Google’s street view – an experience that will be improved by a VR set at home. In fact, there’s a couple more virtual touring experiences available that might make you reconsider moving that Oculus Rift from the Wishlist to the Cart…
You can look at a number of Louvre’s galleries in a 360˚ view through the museum’s YouVisit website. And if you visit The Met 360° Project, you can watch six videos of guided tours through the museum – a phone or a laptop will suffice, but do opt to use a VR headset like Google Cardboard if you have one. Finally, if you are into ancient art – take a trip to the Tomb of Queen Meresankh III in Egypt, made available for online viewing by the Giza Project at Harvard University.
The artsy side of YouTube
Naturally, you can also see art through many exhibition videos uploaded to YouTube, start by having a look at Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrors.
Lastly, if you’d like to supplement the touring and viewing with some art knowledge, head over to the Dia Art Foundation’s event archives. Most of the talks there are lectures on specific artists, with occasional performances, and they tend to focus on visual art and contemporary poetry.
While it might be tempting to spend hours staring at Insta photos, but especially now with everyone stuck at home, you probably will not find anything that interesting there. So, if you are in search of some really cool photographs to browse through – why not to check the archives stored in the Smithsonian Online Virtual Archives, such as the amazing collection of Jack Mitchell’s 10,000 photographs of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
Another virtual destination we recommend is Polish photographer Zofia Rydet’s website which hosts her two major projects: Dokumentacje (pl. Documentations, 1950-1978) and Zapis Socjologiczny (pl. Sociological Record, 1978-1990). The first one depicts post-WW2 reality in Poland and abroad, while the second project presents rural and urban life in the artist’s home country.
In Pajamas but Partying
Then, to replace all the concert and festivals cancelled because of the pandemic, musicians share innumerable live streams every day. If you have not followed your favourite artists on Instagram until now, it might serve you to do so now, as many of them arrange impromptu performances on Instagram Live, announcing through their Stories hours in advance.
Clubbing Social Distance Style
The artist who started the Live performance trend is DJ D-Nice, hosting hip-hop and dance parties attended by up to 100,000 live viewers at one point, including US celebrities and politicians. Visit his Instagram page for the updates on the upcoming Club Quarantine events.
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For those with more conservative musical tastes, The Rest is Noise created a daily schedule of no-audience concert livestreams of classical music from different places around the world.
Festival Gone Virtual
If your music festival got cancelled, why not attend an online one? The Uncancelled Music Festival streams live performances from venues around the globe, with different artists performing daily. Finally, you can see the stage unobscured by anyone piggybacking in front of you.
For daily updates on newly announced live performances check the dedicated article by Vulture.
And check with us next week for film, docuseries, and live performance recommendations!