Mierle Laderman Ukeles Maintenance Work

Artforum Mar 24, 2020

THERE HAVE BEEN harrowing interviews with doctors, sobering podcast hits by experts, and on-the-ground reporting, but when it comes to images of the coronavirus pandemic, the defining ones have been almost entirely ancillary, at least a step removed from the actual devastation. That has made it difficult to grasp its human toll. Many funerals occur without mourners, the sick deserve their privacy, and cartoon renderings of COVID-19 baffle. And so the most visible images related to the crisis have been the time-lapse videos of China speedily building hospitals, the footage of Italians singing and playing instruments on their balconies, photos of medical professionals holding signs asking people to stay home, and now Christ the Redeemer, in Rio de Janeiro, blanketed with a projection of the flags of countries dealing with the disease.

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