The coronavirus has shaken up the ambience in public space. Not only do signage, mask wearing and social distancing persistently remind us of the presence of this novel menace. Each of us now reveals an aspect of our identities we didn’t know we had. Who is wearing their mask? Who is keeping their distance? Who is protesting and how? Our public behaviour is subject to new judgement and condemnation as we cannot hide our attitude towards this pandemic. What we used to project becomes clouded, altering our relationship with our public selves and the unknown other.
This video takes the viewer through a shopping street in Amsterdam. Is the virus here now? The answer to that question is unknowable, tempting us to think of everyone as carriers. As one progresses and securities seem to fall apart, the sadness of the isolation sinks in. While some things remain unchanged, we are entering an eerie reality in which the risk of death and misery are embedded in public life.