[As] this year neared its end and people started to shrug off the lethargy that hovered above this year, the sayings; it has been a difficult year, what a strange year it was, became somewhat expected tags to our conversations. I am sure you have encountered many phrases that truly clarifies what this year has been about closest to these phrases.
For some of us the memory of March to August 2020 will remain blank professionally. A shock resulting from an interrupted routine. Even though the isolation period gave us time with family, honestly it was a forced situation. Suddenly all the issues we have been avoiding as far as family matters are concerned had to be faced head on. Indeed life would never be the same again.
In pleasant circumstances the lockdown period has come with a blessing that saw us reconnect with our immediate family. Whilst those who are true friends reached out to us across the sea of uncertainty that has come to define our time; uncertain whether life would go on as we know it or not. To some, we faded away as the memory they have of us slipped into insignificance and snuffed out as the effervescent bonds of our shared reality withered as the result of loss of contact.
The cultural industry has responded accordingly however in-accessible on physical presence due to the social distancing regulations. It is now left to historical accounting of this period which will make much more sense out of it in retrospect than we can ever do while we are part it.
Personally I have spent this year in deep thought about my writing and what I would like to do with it. The status quo has not changed and it remains: To write art history. And it has gotten even sharper: To write monographs of artists …but to do it differently. This way the motivation is clear. To partner with artist in the construction of their biographies.
I think the challenge that immediately appears to anyone who is interested in writing about historical events, especially art history itself, is that they have to make sense of the past while sieving through the muddle of contemporary events in order to separate the gems from the muddle. This way, as the present becomes part of our past, those who are interested in the past can have a clear account of our past. Through the Intraparadox series the aim is to do this from the perspective of the artist. On this site, from time to time, there might be an opinion piece about our society in general, television or film reviews to a lesser extent; art historical writing will now take centre stage.
I will like to thank you for the continuing support you have shown towards mmutleak.com
Wishing you a wonderful Christmas and a pleasant entry into the New Year.
We will meet again writerly… soon.
Mmutle Arthur Kgokong, 2020