December 15, 2020

Are we going back to the future?

Euan Rutter

Mixed MediaVaccine Works, 202090x90cm


In the 1920’s, an artist named George Grosz took to the streets of Berlin, wearing a large skull and a carrying a cane. The intention of Grosz’ performance was to make the public come face to face with the inevitably of their mortality or they should remain indoors if they chose to decline. This act was in protest against the establishment, the Spanish flu epidemic, the restrictions and measures imposed and World War I. Grosz’ was part of an art movement known by a single word ‘DADA.’ The similarities between the Spanish Flu outbreak and COVID-19 are quite remarkable, with laws to wear protective masks, enduring lockdowns, quarantines and an enormous amount of fatalities. So the inspiration for this work was in the vein of celebrating the DADA movement and reimagining DADA Death in modern, expressive and activist artwork, that explores the events of the past to visualize the feeling of current times and how the movement, celebrated for creating anti-art, would challenge the issues in the world we live in today. By learning from the past, we can navigate the future. In another 100 years, I wonder what can be learned from COVID-19?