While Coen Feron, as an anesthesiologist in training, was busy rescuing corona patients in Maastricht UMC, he turned out to be infected. The 28-year-old doctor even ended up on the ICU where he had to be given artificial respiration.
His biggest fear was getting the ventilator. But he now knows that the impact after leaving intensive care is also very great, he says de Volkskrant.
‘Do not overreact’ On March 24 things went wrong and Coen Ferron ended up in the hospital where he normally works. At first he thought it would be over soon. “I thought: don’t you like Coen, are you hyperventilating?”
But when he recognized his own colleagues from the intensive care unit and the Emergency Room, the seriousness of the situation came to him.
To the ventilator His colleagues wanted to put him on a ventilator immediately. “Baloney,” he said to them. “Not going to happen.” But by midnight it still had to happen. Everything in him screamed that he did not want this, he says in the newspaper. He was terrified.
For days, Coen Feron was kept asleep on the IC. He even had to be tied up because he was so restless.
Panic attacks Finally he comes through; he may be released from ventilation and leave intensive care. But the impact of this drama is huge. Feron suffers from panic attacks. They just flood him out of nowhere. “I would prefer to run hard now,” he says in de Volkskrant. “and get to work as soon as possible. But I know I’ll walk into a wall.”
Physically he is far from the old one. But a lot has also changed mentally. He thought that patients were through the hardest once they got out of the ICU, but now he knows they have a long way to go.
“In line with the recommendations of the authorities to contain the corona pandemic, we will close our gallery until further notice.” Almost every art dealer has sent a message like this to his customers in the past few days. Art fairs have also ceased to exist since Art Basel canceled their event in Hong Kong and the ongoing operation of the Tefaf antiques fair in Maastricht had to be stopped last week because the corona virus had been detected by a dealer.
The art business stands still. The shutdown can quickly become a threat to trade. In particular, the lack of sales due to trade fair cancellations are sensitive cuts in the business of commercial galleries. Art Basel had reacted quickly to this and announced that it would at least offer an alternative for the dealers booked in Hong Kong.
Where? In the virtual room, of course, the only room that can be considered as sterile these days. And many gallery owners are also trying to remain digitally present. An overview:
Art Basel Hong Kong
It was supposed to take place this weekend, the most important art fair in Asia. More than 230 international galleries from thirty countries are now showing their art in digital instead of in the Hong Kong Convention Center “Viewing Rooms”. On Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. China Standard Time, the preview for holders of the VIP invitation began, and the server was already heavily loaded 15 minutes later. The interest was there. And the visit for all guests, for collectors and gallery owners alike, is a new experience.
“Nothing can replace the experience of seeing art personally,” says Adeline Ooi, Art Basel director for Asia. “But we hope that this initiative can bring some support and visibility to all galleries affected by the cancellation and their artists.” And it can also be a test for the future of online art trade. Because one thing already seems clear: the corona pandemic will have a lasting impact on the art fair calendar. The latest cancellation came from New York: The Frieze is not taking place this year – not even online.
Art Basel Hong Kong simulates (until March 25) the real visit to the exhibition hall. With one click you enter the bunk of the gallery and can first read a text that can be seen at the stand. Paintings and other two-dimensional works are often digitally mounted on the photo of a wall, which always suggests the same bench in front of it, that one can sit down for contemplation. The idea of three-dimensional works like sculptures is less suggestive. Here the galleries usually only have the option of showing installation views from another location.
One advantage of the online presentation: in addition to the photos, there is not only more information about the work and artist, but also the price. The inhibition threshold of having to ask for prices has been reduced. The disadvantage: you cannot visually relate the works to one another. But digital showrooms can also be curated. This is the chance to develop innovative mediation concepts for online art consumption.
The rooms of the Pace Gallery (London / Geneva / New York) are also closed to the public. The globally present megagallery tries to display part of its exhibitions online. The documentation of the London show by James Turrell shows that this idea does not work ideally for all art genres. The American artist creates changeable light spaces that normally seem immaterial and magical. However, Turrell’s LED illuminations cannot really show the best photo. The inspection of the viewing room remains bland.
On the contrary, visiting the digital exhibition of abstract watercolors by Sam Gilliam. Detailed photos come so close to the water colors that you can see how gradients develop, where the colors have streaked or where they become translucent like a silk fabric.
The gallery also deals transparently with its commercial interests. There is an online button for each picture that provides information about the state of demand of the work: available, reserved, sold. The prices are also given – at least for works of art that are still available. Sam Gilliam’s watercolors cost $ 180,000. And James Turrell apparently catches even without an appealing presentation. His collectors know that his work can only be felt when viewed directly. All work has already been marked or sold.
David Zwirner Gallery
The Zwirner Gallery (New York / London / Hong Kong) already looks back on four years of experience with virtual viewing rooms. You also have to enter an email address there to be able to enter it. The multi-layered, overlapping and psychedelically colored photographs by James Welling that Zwirner shows here seem made for a digital presentation. A portfolio cut into a short film introduces Welling’s visual cosmos. The simple but dynamic layout of the viewing room is pleasantly reserved compared to the pictures. Not like a white cube as you know it from real gallery spaces, but a pragmatic functionalism.
Here, too, there are buttons about the demand status of the work, its dimensions and edition information. Available copies of five copies cost between $ 35,000 and $ 40,000. But buying with a click, you can’t. The online gallery is not an online shop as you know it from digitized retail. You can give up your interest in buying, but then you have to wait for a reaction from the gallery.
Mega gallery owner David Zwirner
Isn’t the art experience on the virtual sales platform a bit sterile? The question is posed by the twister artist Jeff Koons “New York Times” Answered: He feels personally and intimately addressed by the online viewing rooms, said the artist, whom his critics consider to be a bit sterile, of course. He loves looking at pictures. “But I can be just as happy when I look at a picture of a Manet painting online,” says Koons. It is about the suggestion that a work of art conveys. “There are always advantages and disadvantages for everything, but the positive aspect of these platforms is that they are good for dialogue with art.”
Of course, Zwirner also has a stand on the Art Basel Hong Kong online platform: “On Painting”. The exhibition is inspired by Leon Battista Alberti’s famous Renaissance treatise “De Pictura”, the gallery informs. The program aims to highlight the artists whose work contributes to the redefinition of figurative painting. The exhibition is shown in parallel in the viewing room on the gallery homepage and confirms the digital trend towards flatware. Jeff Koons is alongside Marlene Dumas, Kerry James Marshall, Mamma Andersson and Alice Neel – works of art worth around $ 16 million.
The Berlin gallery owner Johann König had not applied for the trade fair in Hong Kong after three participations – if only because of the political situation. Before the virus came, protests by the civil rights movement against the pressure of the Chinese motherland kept the city in suspense. With new rooms in Tokyo, the König Galerie has sought a permanent location in Asia. He is now using the corona shutdown in Berlin for experiments in social media.
König is currently listed as an online conference host Instagram through our own gallery program. Every day at 10 a.m., he invites him on live TV tours of his gallery, which is located in a brutalist church building. At times the artist Jorinde Voigt is his guest, then Michael Elmgreen, part of the duo Elmgreen & Dragset, is added from the studio.
The format is spontaneous, direct, sometimes bumpy, then refreshingly funny. Johann König holds the camera of his smartphone in front of his nose and off we go. You chat about art and the market and all kinds of things – and pretend that Berlin is still bohemian even in crisis mode.
Galleria Raffaella Cortese
The situation is more serious in Milan. 25 years ago, Raffaella Cortese founded her gallery in the room of her student booth. Today she operates three premises on Via Alessandro Stradella, northeast of the city center of Milan. And of course their galleries are officially closed and only accessible to individual visitors by appointment. However, you are open Screening room, whose program is dedicated to video art.
For the art of moving images in particular, it makes sense to prepare a digital stage for it in the long term. Because video art always has a more difficult time at trade fairs than pictures that can be quickly hung up and taken down again. It eats up a lot of space, is technology-intensive and is also not considered to be a particularly well-selling medium. The beginning of Raffaella Cortese is now the artist Alejandro Cesarco from Uruguay with the film “Learning the Language (Present Continuous I)” from 2018.
In the video portrait we see the Argentine pianist, performer and musicologist Margarita Fernández. We see her on the piano, we hear her interpreting Franz Schubert’s Andantino from the Sonata in A major. Her words are an approximation of the language of art and how different and yet similarly it is articulated.
Cesarco’s audiovisual work examines these relationships between writing, image and music. And, without realizing the Corona crisis, he asks what our real needs are today. Which space will poetry and art occupy, which can they still occupy in the future?
The artist Alexander Iskin is also working on this question. He describes himself as an interrealist. His “goal is to examine the digitized, the existent and the postdigital beings”. For this purpose, he destroyed his computer in a performance a few years ago, opened an “analog Instagram account” and opened his studio for chats with viewers of his performances.
He currently lives in quarantine in the Berlin gallery of Sexauer. And that for weeks before the corona virus was introduced to Germany. By Live cam you can watch him doing it. Only people who bring Iskin food and drinks are admitted. These visitors have the opportunity to help shape the resulting works. In May, the Mönchehaus Museum in Goslar wanted to show it for Iskin’s 30th birthday in the exhibition “The cause lies in the future”.
Will it happen? Like the gallery owner Jan-Philipp Sexauer, who made his rooms available to a completely open experiment, public institutions must now ask themselves how they have to deal with forced closings, orphaned halls and loss of perception. The art market can help them get started. Because one thing also applies in the Corona crisis: Necessity makes you inventive. This is vital for the art trade.
“The day we realized the seriousness of the situation linked to the Corovanirus, we were setting up our stands at the Tefaf Maastricht! The machine was on. It was too late to give up“Confides a longtime exhibitor. The fact remains that this fair, one of the most prestigious and influential in the field of the ancient and modern art market, decided to close its doors at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, without discussion. After a summit committee, the organizers realized the obvious. The ax has fallen. In the interest of all!
An email was sent to the 285 exhibitors at the end of the afternoon. “In agreement with the city of Maastricht, it was decided to close this evening, four days before the end, despite the opinion of the health authorities who had not changed their mind regarding their agreement to open the fair, at given the situation in the Netherlands, ”reads.
No word on the exact reason for this closure. But according to our information, the organizers have been informed of the contamination by the coronavirus of an Italian exhibitor present at the show from the time of installation until Sunday. And not just any: according to our sources, it would be a major merchant with a stand located on the “Champs-Élysées”, these large, most expensive, best exposed and most visited alleys of the fair … It was after leaving Maastricht that it was tested, that the test was positive and that it informed the Tefaf, explained Wednesday evening the organizers at Figaro.
However, the press release sent to the other exhibitors made no mention of this specific problem. Nanne Dekking, head of the board of trustees of TEFAF estimated Wednesday that “c“Given recent developments in the regions around Maastricht and growing concerns, we no longer believe that it is appropriate to continue as planned.” “We would like to thank our exhibitors, visitors and employees for their trust and support in this unprecedented situation. The Tefaf community has always excelled in bringing the best of art to the world in Maastricht, we are proud to have witnessed the professionalism and union of our family during this fair and the unprecedented circumstances “, he added.
And Annemarie Penn te Strake, Mayor of the City of Maastricht, adds: “I support and respect this decision. We understand that the unrest is increasing due to the circumstances in the countries of origin and the regions around us. It is only fair that this concern be taken into account. We are proud of our many years of partnership with Tefaf and know that this strong bond also helps us through difficult times ”. This is a police release with the rigor and Dutch diplomacy with which the French have had to familiarize themselves over the years …
What should we do? The decision is delicate when you know that many shows have been canceled. In particular this afternoon, Drawing Now, a contemporary drawing fair which was to take place at the end of March at the Carreau du Temple, in Paris. But others not yet: the drawing room at the Palais Brongniart, on the Paris Stock Exchange, announced, through its young president, Patrick de Bayser that it would be maintained. But everything can change tonight, given what is happening in Maastricht.
“For Tefaf Maastricht, I could not have found a better compromise in an unprecedented situation if I were in the place of the organizers, confides the young Parisian merchant Oscar Graf, much criticized at the opening, when he rightly announced that major American museums, the main buyers in this fair would not come, starting with the Getty in Los Angeles, the Met from New York, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Virginia Museum in Richmond. And that it was extremely damaging for this 33rd edition. “There was no worse timing for this fair which had to open and close tonight out of moral obligation. This is unfortunate, especially for those who do not do their business right away. But this is how., add the latter ..
Everyone was however prepared for an opening against all odds or a premature closing. Many of the exhibitors, among the most cash, did not hide their concerns. The installation of the stands before the opening on Thursday 5 March with the VIP opening was very anxiety-provoking. Fair or not fair, whether it takes place or not, the merchants had closed the hatches, to set up their stand, with the energy that must be in you and the financial investment that follows to do it …
“We expected the worst and by the time the show opened, many exhibitors had worked well. And they were happy to participate, as if to defy the darkest predictions“, Emphasizes an exhibitor. “To cancel it, it would have been the biggest cold shower, everyone would have lost a lot of money but today, it is a duty to stop everything!Adds another. In such a situation, nobody wants to give their name anymore … The organization of Maastricht, a powerful and well-established organization according to Dutch rigor, did not believe possible such an event. Or did not want to believe it, given the challenges of this fair, the number one that has no equivalent in modern and contemporary, except Art Basel.
This is a lesson for other events and their organizers who imagine they can still hold their events. Anxiety is mounting among merchants whose semester, with these cascading postponements, risks being financially disastrous. And no horizon defined for a recovery.
The victim was only 35 years old. The circumstances of the drama have yet to be determined.
The carnival procession which was to parade this Tuesday in the village of Ulestraten, in Maastricht, has been canceled. This decision was taken following a fatal accident on Monday evening.
For reasons that remain to be determined, a tractor with a trailer attached to it has come off the road. The driver of the vehicle was killed instantly, local media reported. He had just returned from a procession in the small village of Meerssen, where he was from. The victim was 35 years old.