While all South African galleries are closed to the public, a number of small teams have continued to work, ensuring a measure of engagement and sharing between the public and the fine arts sector which will be hard hit at this time; suffering both because of the lockdown and a weakened global economy.
The First Thursdays website has been updated to reflect several galleries which will be active during the lockdown, with Pebofatso Mokoena's Internal Probes showing at David Krut and group show How to Disappear at the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg.
In Cape Town, new gallery Nel (owned by partners Luan Nel and Neil Pendock), features an ongoing, ever-evolving group exhibition titled Salon Long looking at radical, queer artworks.
The coronavirus outbreak has limited the ways in which we are able to engage with art, however, it is also demanding the art world to push towards more ingenuous and less exclusionary ways of engaging the larger public. While only a small portion of South Africa will be able to access this online content, geographic and physical restrictions that worked to police this space have fallen away. We are yet to see how the art world evolves in response to this. Art is has never been about the pure materiality of objects, but about the ideas they produce.