Art in Uncertain Times: Agostino Iacurci, From Brooklyn To Berlin In the Midst of a Lockdown
"I always had the feeling of Berlin being a quiet city, but now it feels quieter than ever," Italian-born, Berlin-based artist Agostino Iacurci tells Juxtapoz in our latest report from the Art in Uncertain Times series. After checking in with Marco Wagner in the German countryside, we got in touch with our friend from Foggia, Italy who found himself in the US as the situation in Europe started rapidly escalating. "I am always in contact with my family and friends in Italy," he shares his experience as the pandemic is ravaging his homeland. "They are well, so far, but we are starting to have the first cases among people we know personally, so the invisible enemy is taking visible shape."
"I was in Brooklyn until last week, at the International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP) for an artist residency ending in June. Although the COVID-19 situation was still under control in the US, I was continuously in contact with my family and friends in Italy, and I feared that the situation would escalate soon. Therefore, after Trump announced the ban for the flights from Europe, and some European countries started the lock-down, we decided together with my sponsors to freeze the program, and I jumped on the first plane to Berlin, where I live and work. Once I arrived, and since I had been exposed to a rather crowded airport, I decided to self-quarantine for a couple of weeks, even if I was feeling well. Together my girlfriend, I have recently moved to a studio/house in Neükolln, so we can keep working at home without going out. Here in Berlin, it looks like people need a lot of toilet paper, so it’s now impossible to find it.
"The first part of my day is not different from what it was before; I spend my time working, cooking, listening to music, or reading. The working calendar for imminent projects and trips is totally messed up, but luckily enough, I can keep working on future projects. Sometimes I Skype with my friends and we keep working while connected, talking and laughing from time to time.
"I feel the difference the most when the evenings come, as I cannot go to a bar, to the gym, to German classes or dinner with friends. We have found a way of doing indoor barbecue. We try to tan at the windows. My skills as pizza maker are improving fast. I am looking forward to showing my family and friends all over the world how good it is. We try not to overexpose ourselves to TV news, but we always get some updates at dinner time over a bottle of wine (not to get depressed)."
Text compiled by Sasha Bogojev