CHRIS THURMAN: Wrestling with the physical-digital conundrum in the Covid-19 straitjacket
Lwandiso Njara’s exhibition presents an ambiguous response to the question of what future cities and people could look like
The blurring of the physical and the digital has defined everyday life for billions of people over the past year. It is confounding because, intuitively, we understand these as two distinct categories of experience. We resolve the confusion by retreating into binaries: the digital is “safe”, the physical is “unsafe” (in epidemiological terms anyway). But the Covid-19 era has also reinscribed the ways in which the digital often feels dystopian, characterised by alienation and disconnection.
Artists cannot live on the digital alone. They need physical spaces, to see and to be seen. This week, the Fugard Theatre — by common consensus the standout performing arts venue in SA over the past decade — announced that it would be closing its doors permanently. There will be no post-Covid-19 revival. The news has left artists and audiences alike bereft. ..