At the beginning of April 2020, I have started an international art collaboration project: “The Future Front Pages Project.” The starting point for this project is the corona crisis.
2020 should have been the year in which I would start to create my own artwork again. For years I have been an art teacher at a high school, I became a mother of three children and my family and I moved from Amsterdam to a village near Utrecht. But the corona crisis disrupted this plan completely: being stuck at home with three young children: I didn’t have time for anything else.
But I did follow the news about the corona virus with great interest. In the beginning it felt like something that happened far away, in China. Dreadful, but due to the fact that China is thousands of miles away, it felt quite abstract. Until the corona virus like a massive wave hit Europe too. I concluded that the whole world was in it together: everybody is affected by this virus in one way or another. I imagined that the newspapers worldwide, would most likely be dominated by news about the corona virus.
With that thought in mind have sent my old classmates from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London, an email. (During 2006-2007 I have completed my art Master Scenography there)
My classmates come from all over the world. I asked them to buy a newspaper in their own countries. My question to them was: “how would you like this front page to look like in exactly one years’ time?”. (For example: if they would buy the newspaper from August 28th 2020, they would alter that front page to make it look like how they want it to look like on August 28th 2021.)
After altering the front page they had to send it to me hardcopy.
At the moment I have 20 “future front pages” in my possession. They were sent to me from Norway, Taiwan, Greece, Australia and may other countries. The best thing is that I also received front pages from artists I do not know personally! It is very inspiring to see how each front page in completely different from the other. Each of them being unique art pieces that give an inside in how different countries (try to) cope with the corona crisis.
A friend of mine is a video artist and he made a beautiful digital version of his future front page. In his video a little door opens in the front page and a tiny man steps out of that door on top of the newspaper. He looks around, rather sad and distressed after reading all the negative news that is printed on the front page. In the next shot you see the same front page but one year later. The little man has been busy planting a forest on top of the front page. The bad news unreadable by the growing trees.
My goal is to exhibit all these future front pages together and sell them all together as a group artwork. The money that I (hopefully) will raise , I want to donate to the UNHCR. When I think of all the overly full refugee camps, my heart breaks. With this group art piece I want to show that this horrible crisis that connects us in a negative way can also be used to connect us in a positive way.