Adapting to the current circumstances of COVID-19 pandemic crisis, which had reached Europe by February 2020, and an earthquake that shook Zagreb on March 22nd, WHW decided to continue Akademija in an online mode. In these circumstances the second generation of artists of WHW Akademija have been testing ways to enable the production and dissemination of knowledge focused on collectivity and imagination. In dialogue with the program, the participants tested various forms of artistic production in times of crisis through self-organized actions and exhibitions.
Ekaterina Muromtseva inaugurated the Balcony Gallery on her balcony where she presented several of her exhibitions, Quarantine Outfit, Portraits of the Dogs Walking With Their Owners and Other People…
Balcony Gallery continued to test the space at the intersection of private and public, so it also hosted an exhibition by another WHW Akademija participant Jolanta Nowaczyk which featured a hand-painted flag with the inscription New Normal commenting on the current situation.
Vlad Brăteanu reflected on the traumatic events of the earthquake in Zagreb on March 22nd with a series of fragile and poignant in situ sculptures: Get your shit together and stay balanced composed from the remains of the discarded material of destroyed buildings.
While Dante Buu launched a poetry reading podcast on his Instagram, Neža Knez realized a series of graffiti Predictions and Reality, and María Luisa Sanín Peña reflected on the anxiety as well as the hope of the present moment through a series of collages and paintings created in quarantine.
Neža Knes used sentences extracted from conversations with kids her earlier work: Deus ex machina, in which they drew and imagined machines with supernatural powers. These sentences were then written in chalk on Zagreb city pavements and walls: “It fixes all mistakes,” “His eyes are a binocular,” “We can fly high”.
These are some of the examples of how the second year of WHW Academy, by refusing to passively wait for a return to the alleged “normal”, actively and responsibly seeks opportunities for autonomous and empathetic action in and for the community.