visual chronicle of the Covid-19 era
In the heat of the COVID-19 pandemic panic, when humankind’s destination was unknown, I photographed mandatory face masks wearing passengers on a tram. I animated the still photos to create ‘Next Stop’ a 27-minutes-long serene video of a nonspecific public transit passing by in soundless, seamless loop.
Working from home became the norm and the use of public transportation was discouraged due to social distancing policies. Being able to adapt to the ‘new normal’ could be seen as a privilege, as globally only one of every five jobs can be performed from home. A striking example is the healthcare worker in the video; one of the commuters staring right back at us. Others in the video can be seen gazing at phones, holding their heads, or with eyes closed waiting for the next stop.
Despite the mandatory face masks, emotions of despair, disbelief, and a sense of being rudderless are uncovered in the sunlit portraits as a frozen reflection of the global frame of mind. The slow motion feel of the work’s pace emulates the world coming to a near stop due to the pandemic.
Time will tell whether Next Stop is a nightmare’s afterimage or a glimpse of the future.
Five short excerpts of Next Stop premiered at the Times Square, New York billboard, curated by ZAZ10TS and presented by ZAZ Corner. March 18 — April 10, 2022 10 Times Square Billboard, South East Corner of 41st Street and 7th Avenue.
more info: www.zaz10ts.com/pierre-derks