In the past days, the news has been all but positive. However, apart from the downsides, media tend to discuss over and over again, on a daily basis, the current situation has a positive face, too. And yes, it will be positive only if we let it be so. Well, I decided to view the situation from exactly this angle:

Josef Bartoš. Foto: Barbora Škrobáková.

Josef Bartoš. Foto: Barbora Škrobáková.

Josef Bartoš Author Josef Bartoš

When was the last time we had the opportunity to watch so many performances online? For sure, it is nothing compared to a genuine theatre experience, when you have to shuffle on your seat to be able to see behind the big hairdo of a lady sitting right in front of you; or when you are trying to ignore the fact that your neighbour has just unwrapped another candy… And if you think the Internet, and YouTube in particular, has made audio-visual material available worldwide, then the pandemic will shatter all your expectations. The Berlin Philharmonic has launched more than 600 free concerts. Just like that, no further ado. Czech dance is a bit more reserved in this respect, but Cirk La Putyka - following the successful premiere of Memories of Fools - has given another performance in an empty Jatka78 and livestreamed it on Mall TV.

After all, Mall TV has joined forces with the Donio company and under the hashtag #kulturazije they have launched a fundraising campaign to support the participating ensembles. Viewers can enjoy watching numerous productions from the comfort of their couch. Today, for instance, Cirk La Putyka will release the recording of their show Up End Down, with live music by the Film Philharmonic Orchestra.

And what about artists? With a lot of exaggeration, we can compare Corona virus to a forced restart – by pressing the power button. A daily routine of a freelance artist looks like this: you are moving around the city, on a tram or subway you inhale your lunch (that you didn’t manage to heat up before the transfer), and at night you go to bed, your head buzzing from thinking about all the stuff you haven’t done that day. And now? As if your computer monitor shuts off in a moment of total despair and you have no choice but free your head for a while before the device turns on again... Now, most of us are sitting at home and have plenty of time.

But we’ve already got used to having not enough time, it has become our mysterious spell, a mythic mantra we pronounce every day while cursing our day planners. And all of a sudden, we have loads of time, it has just fallen from the sky. But it’s not for long – neither is a computer restart - as the pandemic and fear will not last forever. This ‘time’ we have is coming at a high price. It’s up to us to decide how to use it.

More columns to be found here.


Translated by Tereza Cigánková.

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