In addition to all the terrible blow of the pandemic and its handling, the separation of artist from audience is a form of damage that the human spirit finds hard to bear. Yes, thankfully, new modes of artistic communication emerge. But it is not a simple matter.
To put it a different and perhaps more scary way, the struggle of art to express itself and for us to express ourselves through art, to satisfy our own need to creatively communicate, is being suffocated not only by the pandemic, but by our culture giving up on itself.
Theater, music, dance, painting, sculpture, literature, poetry and every other human creative endeavor are there to challenge, to open the mind, when it is so much easier to just not bother. Why open a book? Why act in or go to a play? Learn an instrument, join a band? So much easier to let one’s pod take over a la The Body Snatchers and let creative energies fade.
And to exist in more than the creator’s ego, there must be an audience, a community of those who appreciate what the creator strives to do.
And here is the great struggle for us in the pandemic. Not just to exist but to do something that satisfies the soul. For most artists that means doing something that affects someone else, that moves the other, the unites people through the act of creation.
We let go of this too easily. We take its loss too lightly.
Many, many artists, at the same time as fighting for their health and economic survival, suffering these days. Many find outlets, moments of expression and sharing. We must find more.