When your exhibition can’t go online: intimacy vs pornography

NGA’s exhibition The Body Electric was unable to pivot digitally during COVID-19. We speak with the exhibition's curators about notions of intimacy, imaged desire and perceptions of the inappropriate.

Intimacy is a curious consideration in our times. While COVID-19 restrictions have prevented us from not only being intimate – but within close proximity – the flipside is that some of the most intimate aspects of our personal lives have been exposed on public domains, from obsessive driven hobbies to bedrooms-come-offices in zoom conferencing.

Much also has been said of the lack of ‘intimacy’ felt in online programming. While it has been a savour to the sanity of many to bring culture directly into our homes via a digital pivot, most agree that the experience of sitting with an art work in a gallery, or in a theatre, is hard to replicate.

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Gina Fairley is ArtsHub's National Visual Arts Editor. For a decade she worked as a freelance writer and curator across Southeast Asia and was previously the Regional Contributing Editor for Hong Kong based magazines Asian Art News and World Sculpture News. Prior to writing she worked as an arts manager in America and Australia for 14 years, including the regional gallery, biennale and commercial sectors. She is based in Mittagong, regional NSW. Twitter: @ginafairley Instagram: fairleygina