The Show Must Go On: How to Indulge in Arts and Culture Without Stepping Outside Your Front Door
With the news of Glastonbury’s 50th-anniversary edition being postponed until next year, major galleries closing their doors and Eastenders cutting their number of episodes to two a week, the future of our cultural institutions looks precarious. Even four days in, it’s clear that a person cannot survive on a diet of Netflix and Amazon Prime alone. Deliveroo has already introduced a no contact delivery drop off, but what about the art, music and fashion industries? It’s all about thinking outside the IRL box and finding new ways to reach their audiences in compliance with social distancing protocols. As an antidote to the uncertainty of cancelled culture, here’s Ten’s guide to enjoying the rich cultural landscape from the comfort (and safety) of your own home.
Arts and Design
The V&A, National Gallery and The Design Museum are among many galleries and museums that have all announced that they will be closed in response to the outbreak of COVID-19. “We believe that access to art is a universal human right. Now more than ever, art can lift our spirits, brighten our days and improve our mental health,” said the Tate’s statement on Instagram. Agreed. To continue providing the inspiration, comfort and welcome distractions they offer ordinarily, galleries are creating and curating online content to showcase art. The Tate will be sharing ideas of how to enjoy their work online via social media, whilst the Serpentine Gallery announced special broadcasts, podcasts and digital commissions in the coming weeks.
Learn something new traversing Online Exhibitions section of the British Library’s website or do a deep dive into the vast resource that is Google Arts & Culture. Partnering with over 500 collections globally, Google Cultural Institute’s platform enables you to discover millions of art artworks and historical sites online. From viewing the collection of the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, or entering an e-exhibit on the inception of colour photography, to taking a virtual tour around the Taj Mahal on Street View, there’s a lot to look at. Now is also the time to explore the genre of Internet Art. Begin by checking out Shu Lea Cheang’s 1993 multifaceted web project Brandon hosted by the Guggenheim or work your way through the Net Art Anthology.
If you’ve got the means, make an investment and get in touch with that artist, photographer, designer or illustrator whose work you’re always liking on Instagram. Bring art home, quite literally. With the majority of freelance creatives faced with a drop in income over the coming months dig deep, drop them a DM or get in touch via email to see if you can support them by buying a print or commissioning a work. In response to the food bank shortages caused by panic buying, London-based painter Hetty Douglas is auctioning off “Untiled”, a mixed media painting on eBay and will donate all proceeds to Southwark food bank, which is funded by The Trussell Trust.
Hetty Douglas, ‘Untitled’ (2018), acrylic, spray paint, oil bar & filler on canvas, 100 x 60cm, courtesy of the artist.
After Berghain shutting last week, the majority of live music venues and clubs have followed suit. Tour dates have been postponed and festivals including Glastonbury, Coachella and SXSW have all postponed or cancelled completely. Although we still have Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube to keep us entertained, you will still be able to get your live music fix. Ten’s 20th Anniversary cover star, the inimitable Erykah Badu has just announced Apocolypse One, an interactive live stream experience coming straight from Badu’s bedroom. “We got to keep this thing going, we’re a community of artists whose survival depends on performing, creating, laughing living and loving to feel alive,” she explains in an IGTV video. All we know so far is that the first in the quarantine concert series will be taking place this weekend and you will have to pay one dollar to get in. Stay tuned to her Instagram for more info.
After rescheduling over 40 upcoming shows over the next few months, Boiler Room announced a new live series yesterday. All to be filmed under lockdown and in isolation, streaming live from DJs and artists’ homes. Each show will give the option to donate, asking their viewers to give what they might spend on a usual night out. Starting this week they will be raising money for the Global FoodBanking Network to help those in poverty and need and they are asking for suggestions of other causes to support to be submitted via their chatroom. NTS radio will continue broadcasting 24/7 from a safe social distance as well as producing new in-house shows and have compiled a helpful list of links to resources for staying connected and safe whilst supporting local and wider cultural communities. As well as curating fantastic playlists (including their new Home Listening playlist tracking the history of ambient music), in lieu of clubbing, the online music magazine and community platform Resident Advisor asked their writers to compile a list for creatively getting the most out of electronic music during self-isolation, it’s great.
If you’re more classical than club, the Metropolitan Opera in New York are continuing their Nighly Opera Streams for the duration of the closure. Every evening at 19:30 CET the Met will stream a free series of encore presentations of Live in HD presentations that will then be available for 20 hours via their website and also available through the Met Opera on Demand apps for Apple and Amazon. Watch Verdi’s La Traviata tonight and get ready for an all-Wagner week beginning on Monday 23rd with Tristan und Isolde.
Earlier this week, Vogue Italia announced that their archive would be available to access for free for three months. Plainly speaking, this means that you can enjoy over 50 years of top fashion from home, with issues dating from 1964 to today. Now’s your chance to pursue those iconic issues you’ve only seen a glimpse of being reposted over Instagram by heading to this website and entering the code: VARCHIVE4YOU. Here at Ten we’re also doing our part, if you can’t get your hands on a copy we’ll be bringing you content from our most recent issues as well as some of the best bits from our archive. For starters, you can read Max Blagg’s Ode to the Cod Piece from the freshly released 10 Men Issue 51, get to know Kim Petras or check out Richard Gray’s interview with Miuccia Prada from 10+ Issue One. Maybe you’re in the mood for a video, head to Ten’s YouTube channel and see what takes your fancy. We’d recommend watching our self-confessed shoe-obsessed editrix-in-chief talk through her 650 pair-strong collection in our latest in her personal vlog series.
As advised by our wise online editor Dino, get on eBay and Depop now you’ve got no excuses to do a deep dive and trawl for those bargains and get rid of those old pieces that are filling up your wardrobe or gathering dust in your draws. Also, there’s no excuse to not look your best whilst #WFH, and with this many FaceTime calls and Houseparty hangouts, you’ve got a great excuse to mix it up and try some new looks without having to brave the streets. For some inspo, check out @wfhfits, an Instagram devoted to showcasing your steezy-est working from home outfits run by Vogue’s fashion news editor Steff Yotka, Elle UK’s fashion features editor Sara McAlpine and GQ Style writer Rachel Seville Tashjian.
Screenshot from @wfhfits
Coming up next is a digital-first and “on the cloud” fashion week, as Shanghai Fashion Week and Labelhood have partnered with Alibaba’s Tmall. Brands will show on a schedule of allotted live stream slots to present their collections and are also being encouraged to sell current season pieces through their linked Tmall shops. Could this be the future of fashion week? Although hitting the high-street is now out of the question, most online retailers are still open for business. Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, LN-CC and Dover Street Market have closed their bricks and mortar stores, as have Browns who has pledged to amp up their URL presence whilst standing by and supporting their designers, contributors and global creative community.
London-based concept store 50m (who we threw our first 20th-anniversary party with), are innovatively providing access to their amazing selection of emerging designers and sustainable brands’ pieces via video calls and WhatsApp appointments whilst their physical store is temporarily closed. They’ve also teamed up with Klarna for their webshop to allow you to spread your payments over three instalments. Continue to support the brands you love by shopping online and reaching out through Instagram. Now you’re not paying for your travel into work can you finally afford that pair of shoes you’ve been lusting after or those earrings you’ve been bookmarking? They don’t call it retail therapy for nothing.
Top image: Screenshot from Group Z, Belgium, Michaël Samyn, ‘LOVE’ (1995), series of seven stories arranged in a navigable grid of HTML files, developed for Netscape 2, accessed on Net Art Anthology.
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