2020 05 25 / These Extraordinary Times with Marcin Dudek

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'Tribunalia', video still, Courtesy The Artist, during inaugural residency at Launch Pad LaB, 2018

LP: How has your daily routine changed?

MD: In many ways it changed a lot. Pre-covid habits and routines were instantly replaced with bans and restrictions affecting everybody. Like many people in the arts, I was very much exploring the mobile lifestyle for years- constantly commuting between Belgium, UK and Poland with trips regularly crammed between those journeys. I was moving so much that I had no sense of belonging to any one place. This has changed. Two months in Brussels and with the prospect of further travel restrictions and complications, my landscape is more locally oriented than in years. This new reality marks the end of my own phase of no belonging and I’m probably not alone in that.

LP: Many artists work in solitude ordinarily. How has isolation or social distancing affected you in these times?

MD: The myth of the artist as a sole spirit has long expired. Some proof of this is in the way so many artists’ and arts workers jumped into Zoom without reflecting or taking time to look around (even if around means at your four walls). Actually, I enjoyed the time of isolation and distancing in a way, so I hope you understand my late reply to your questions. The greatest effect on me was being still, being home, diving deeper into my daily surroundings.

LP: If there is any silver lining, what is it?

MD: This sense of belonging and slowness is a silver lining. Seeing people queuing in front of the shop brings back memories from my youth in Poland, which offer other positives. For example, there is more than vinegar on the store shelves, the line is constructed out of consideration for others and comparatively speaking, things aren’t as bad as they were back then.

LP: Make up your own question and answer it:

MD: What’s next? More or less?!