Love and Pandemics: A Manual.
The video Love and Pandemics: a Manual aims to visually explore the unique predicament in which we find ourselves since the arrival of the novel coronavirus Covid-19. The virus has caused dramatic changes to the way humans relate to each other. Social distancing, the favoured measure to prevent the spread of the disease worldwide, translates into an intensification of the already existing tendency to communicate virtually: suddenly, cyberspace is the only place of ethical congregation, and physical, face-to-face interactions beyond the family nucleus are morally reprehensible, and even punishable by law.
It is clear that the situation has placed us at a unique crossroads, and many aspects of this predicament are rich in irony. Ironically, despite the isolation, we are highly connected globally by the common thread of the virus. And, ironically, we must separate to protect and care for each other. On the other hand, media, government officials, health experts, and even celebrities constantly implore us to avoid touching each other, to wash our hands, to cover our mouths, to avoid touching our eyes and the rest of our faces. Ironically, the areas of greatest expressive capacity for human beings, which are the parts of the body associated with love, communication, intimacy and connection; the hands, the face and the mouth, are suddenly reconfigured as sites of conflict, and possible infection.
It is in the midst of this particularly absurd chaos that we created this project, with the body as a starting point, especially those areas that gain prominence during a pandemic: the hands and the mouth. We recognize the vital importance of a dose of humor and satire in times of crisis, so our project takes the form of an absurd instructional video, a format which is of remarkable relevance during this global pandemic, in view of the countless ads with which we are bombarded daily, instructing us on how to behave, clean ourselves, etc. Love and Pandemics: a Manual, tries to show how far we can go to avoid loneliness, to connect with others, and alludes to the existential questions that arise when time is abundant and company is lacking. At the same time, the video represents a critical vision of the anthropocentrism that has characterized our existence on earth and that is indirectly responsible for this crisis. Although conceptually speaking, the work does not deal with a particular city, the short film, made in Punta del Este, Uruguay, inadvertently works as an ode to our hometown, particularly to its natural beauty, its calm and phantasmagoric solitude, characteristics that we locals know and love, far from the international image of the city as a tourist destination, where glamour, consumption, excess and noise abound.
In a world where human connection takes place increasingly digitally, we take this rare opportunity to reflect on the importance and irreplaceable value of human contact.