08 May 2020


These Extraordinary Times with Johanna Unzueta

Q & A

Image: Courtesy the Artist

These Extraordinary Times with Johanna Unzueta

LP: How has your daily routine changed?

JU: At the beginning of the lockup (10 weeks ago) I didn't really feel much change in my routine. I work and live in the same place, so my studio is my home. The real difference now is to spend 24/7 with my son. We live in a tiny place but we complement each other in a very harmonic way, now the days start a little late and finish late at night. The days pass quickly.

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

JU: Well yes, though I work most of the time alone in my studio, what really affects me is in my social life. I miss going out with friends and colleagues or by myself, and the freedom to do and get anything I need or I want. So I organize meetings with my neighbors, tea time or drinks in the hall. I am not much into Zoom or those kinds of things. I talk a lot more on the phone with my family and friends from all over.

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

JU: Uff!! On a personal level, I was looking forward to having a break and some time for myself to reflect on everything I’ve been working on for the last two years since the Berlin Biennale in 2018. I think about this wish all the time because I feel it came true, and I can see this in a positive way. In these times, when everything is either in limbo or on standby, I think about how good it is for our environment with less pollution, fewer airplanes and cars, etc. I really believe that nature found her way to get the rest that she had been asking for, and we didn't listen.

LP: Make up your own question and answer it:

JU: Do you think the wild animals notice that something has changed in the crazy human world?

Yes!!! Less noise, fewer people out, the water maybe is a little cleaner in the ocean and in the rivers. The air is less toxic… There are more things than we humans can identify, but I really believe it has been great for our planet, and the animals know it.