The outbreak in Europe of the COVID-19 epidemic has profoundly disrupted our daily lives, confronting us at once not only with the greatest health challenge of recent times, but also with a breakdown in normality that threatens to take away our values of freedom, progress and democracy. The strong lockdown measures taken by governments (closing borders, centralised concentration of all powers, suspension of human rights and confining people to their homes) have not succeeded in stopping the spread of the virus throughout the so-called "developed world", but they have had the effect of stopping production, a deep economic crisis and a sudden transformation of our habits and customs.
In this new scenario of exception, which affects art and culture in a particularly harsh way, we are beginning to sense that nothing will ever work as it did before, and that it is up to us to explore new formulas for disseminating the activity of creators. Because art cannot stop, even when museums and galleries are closed, not only because it is a fundamental productive area in our societies, but also because it is one of the most effective tools for facing reality in a reflective and critical way and exploring new possibilities.
With this spirit and purpose, Prometeogallery di Ida Pisani has been encouraged to promote virtual exhibition spaces that can replace the normal activity of artists, collectors and art consumers during the time of confinement, opening up the traditionally distinctive gallery scene to other audiences and sensibilities and seeking to insert itself effectively into the social fabric.
So far, the crisis has affected Mediterranean countries such as Spain and Italy with particular virulence, but it has also become firmly established in the Anglo-Saxon sphere and is beginning to spread uncontrollably in the economies of the south, which are less prepared to face a situation like this. This fact calls into question our outdated civilisation and threatens to completely reset a system that has not only proved incapable of realising its own values but was the perfect breeding ground for a situation such as this.
The artist Santiago Sierra is one of those who, with more lucidity and forcefulness, has denounced the injustices and contradictions of the productive model that has brought us here, based on inequality, competition and the exploitation of natural and human resources. In his work we also find an accurate critique of the power and the repressive and authoritarian attitudes with which this system will now seek to strengthen itself in order to continue sustaining itself beyond its possibilities under the slogans spread by the Spanish authorities of "social discipline" and the "new normality". That is why we have decided to begin by presenting a series of his works in small edition format, accessible online and at prices adapted to the exceptional moments we are experiencing.