This is a pivotal time in history. The word unprecedented has been used to describe what is happening, and it is an accurate description. There is no precedent for this. We are all in new territory, and with it comes the unknown future. Currently, we are uneasy and anxious for what the new reality will look like.
When we emerge from our homes, at whatever point that happens, the landscape of our world will be different. Similar to 9-11, things will normalize, but nothing will be the same. We will look at everything differently, through the lens of our latest experience. In the future, we will say things like, “We used to do things this way…but that was before Corona.” The fear will likely take on new forms, but the appreciation for life will be through the roof.
In my mind’s eye, I can see the Post-Corona Age. Like other times in history, it will be reflected on the timeline of the Arts. There was Medieval Art. The Renaissance. Realism. Romanticism. Impressionism. Cubism. On and on it goes. Each age, was influenced by the events in the world at the time. Then, the art also started to influence the events. It was like a two-way communication between our behavior and our expressive selves. What was happening externally, and what was happening internally. Hand in hand, they went together.
This age will be no different. One day the generations that follow us will study this time period. They will look at the art, music, writings, poetry, and drama that came from us and they will discuss the effects of Corona on our work. They will see the fear of the outbreak. They will feel the disappointment of so many lost events. They will grieve with us the losses of life and of freedom. The heaviness and frustration of these times will translate to canvas. There will be angst playing on the speakers. There will be sorrow on the stage. The feelings of the poets trapped in quarantine will explode onto pages. They will see the worse of us.
Yet, as they study us, they will also see the creativity that is always born in hard times. They will see inspiration like they have never seen before. The shut-in spaces we inhabit during this time will become open doors for new designs. New ideas will flow from these quiet places. Experimental techniques will give birth to new art forms. They will hear hope in our tunes. They will see us sculpt peace. They will read us reaching for harmony. They will know our heroic efforts as a society to care for one another. They will feel the exhilaration of joy in our songs, when our freedom to interact returns. They will see our appreciation of life in our colors. They will see the best of us.
We are the Leonardo da Vincis and Vincent van Goghs of our age. We are like Beethoven and Mozart; Newton and Copernicus; Shakespeare and Dante. Our work is generally unknown. It is one expression among the thousands. We are little considered, except maybe in our own circles of influence. Yet, in the future, who knows what will be said of us? Who knows what art will rise up to become the famous expression of the Post-Corona age?
I imagine the greats of history would be surprised to know how their work as impacted the world. How we study them, and hold them up as examples of creativity to our children. They were like us, just people in their unprecedented age, putting their ideas out there for anyone to see who might be interested. At the time, no one much was. But now, we look back and we see their contributions to the world as the gifts they are.
It is our turn. To use our circumstances to influence our art. To translate what is happening out there, to what is happening inside us, to what connects us to each other, to how we display that for future generations to see, hear and feel. It is our little corner of time.
Food for thought…if you knew someone in the future would study your work to try to understand this time in which we are living, what would you create? What would you paint, play, say, or act? How do you translate our current Corona world into your genre? We are trapped in our homes…but can we imagine what the Post-Corona Era looks like?