Statement by Christina Ertl-Shirley

For me, the »lockdown« doesn’t mean that things are calm now or that I have more time - to the contrary: projects have to be postponed and restructured, both financially and artistically.

For example, I had to cancel a research trip in April. Some artistic projects have been canceled, for others it’s not yet clear whether they can be postponed. Some venues have already announced that they can only move productions to 2021, and, even then, it isn’t clear how funding that was specifically to be used in 2020 will be handled. But I also see that funding institutions are constantly changing their guidelines to accommodate us. The situation is new for everyone, and for now we all have to be open and react moment by moment.

I talk on the phone a lot to other freelancers about the current situation and how we could deal with possible ongoing restrictions and isolation, and where these might interfere too much with our fundamental rights. Overall, I sense a great unity and exchange in the scene, even, yes, a politicisation. We also discuss the development of new formats.

Sometimes I watch and listen to live streams of living room concerts, but in the end it's really not the way in which I want to experience music. Above all, in the realm of all these digital possibilities, we must not forget to consider and inform ourselves about data and privacy protection.

My favorite thing at the moment is to listen to talks by female philosophers. I feel like I need this input to gather new perspectives on the corona situation. While I listen, I look at all the flyers of canceled concerts stacked up next to my desk, and think about what I could create with them. The fact that I worked intensively on folding paper last year must be useful here somehow. Just throwing the flyers in the trash is not something I can bring myself to do.

Christina Ertl-Shirley, 3rd April 2020, Berlin