Top 10 art exhibitions of the global pandemic year 2020

Michael Clark: Cosmic dancer – Barbican: “to a simple rock n roll … song”, 2016 © Hugo Glendinning

It was an extraordinary year for science but I’m concerned about the future of the arts. I’m overwhelmed about the lack of journalistic coverage on art practice and the meaning of art in a year like this. However, art continued, artists continued making works and art works were displayed in museums and galleries.

The rules of isolation persisted globally for most of 2020. Some governments felt it was wise to close art spaces and open retailers, which proved catastrophic and saw the rise and rise of the death toll. As a witness myself of the brief openings of art places, film theatres and other forms of creative spaces, I never felt safer from the threat of the pandemic by visiting galleries and museums. Visits could only be booked digitally and just a certain limit of people could be given entry each day. Unlike department stores and shops, major galleries have enough space for people to move without close proximity to other visitors who are outside their support bubble. So why art spaces are the first places to be imposed closure?

For almost a century art has been used to help people to heal. Now, more than ever, we need to strengthen this value and enforce safe access for the benefit of public health.

Here, in pictures, is just a handful of exhibitions that took place from the beginning to the end of 2020. And the many shapes that art exhibitions can have, physically, digitally and as sound landscapes.

Georgia Korossi is an activist and independent writer and curator of documentary, anthropological and experimental films. Her short film Devotion is available to watch on YouTube.

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