The death of a physical art space

It has been waaaaay too long since I stepped over a threshold of a gallery space….

Sure, I have seen quite a few exhibitions online, but every time something was missing. Online exhibitions did definitely clench my thirst for art, but they did not give me proper satisfaction. They were all missing an IT.

Saying that, all the new platforms for art showing are amazing, don’t get me wrong, and that way an exhibition can be seen and experienced all around the world at the same time by anyone. I am definitely not against it, I do want the curators to keep using this ‘novelty’, but what I fear most is that this virtual space will replace a physical space in the future.

People are now so used to being online and experience things online (after the year we had, that is kind of a given), so will we even want to go back in the galleries if we can see everything from the comfort of our own homes?

Even before corona art institutions were not visited much by general public and now moving things online, where even people who are not interested can still check it out, will that be the death of a physical art space?

I surely hope not. Because if you are like me, you are crawing to step into the space and really see the artworks and have the opportunity ‘to touch them’. To smell them. To feel their energy. And for me, that is the IT that is missing in the virtual world. It is so much harder to feel the aura of the artwork, to feel the energy emanating out of it, to sense the emotions of the artist at the moment of creation. I am sure I am not alone in that thinking. And I could explain for hours what I think of it…

And also meeting the community around the artworks, talking to the artist, exchanging ideas, this can only happen in person. Well, ok, it can happen online, but we have all experienced the dreaded Zoom meetings and how much is lost through them…

All in all, I am excited for things to start opening up soon and I know that instead of clothes shopping I will rather go visit a gallery. And dive deep into the energy of the art world that I was not able to sense for so long. I am already getting goosebumps!

What do you think? Have you been ‘visiting’ online exhibitions? Are they any different for you than the ones in a physical space?

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