Nancy Kenney and Helen Stolias ask artists across the world how the coronavirus is affecting them and their work.
“Last week I had the weirdest experience I think I ever had in my life,” says the Bay Area sound artist Bill Fontana, who returned this week to shelter in place at his San Francisco studio after the coronavirus pandemic shut down his solo show at the Kunsthaus Graz. On Wednesday 11 March “they had a private view, it went great,” he says. “And then Thursday morning we wake up and find out that the Austrian government has closed all the museums.”
Fontana returned to California on a British Airways flight that held only 50 passengers, all of them American citizens. After filling out a questionnaire on the plane and being checked out by a government worker once he disembarked, Fontana was allowed to leave the deserted airport and head home. And while he was “heartbroken” when he first found out about the closure of his exhibition, which included a massive 64-channel floating sound and video installation in the main museum space and a media archive spanning his 50-year career, he hopes the show will be extended when the museum reopens. In the meantime, he continues working in San Francisco on current and future projects. “I've got also a huge archive,” he says. “I've been working for more than 50 years, so I have to really organise that when I have spare time.”' ... Keep reading on The Art Newspaper