Quarantine Thoughts by Melis Buyruk
Today is the 33rd day of my self-imposed quarantine. I haven't left the house in 33 days, except for the occasional grocery run, and daily dog walks. As of yet, Turkey has not implemented a curfew, but the government has issued guidelines for essential workers - those who are obliged to work, such as workers in healthcare, service and production. I am of the lucky few who can stay at home, and yet continue to work. About 6 months ago, I brought my studio into my home, moving it to the ground floor, which is in a very residential and quiet part of Istanbul. It makes my studio very silent, allowing me to be more mindful and productive Every morning, before I start working in my studio, I have my cup of coffee while listening to the pianist Yiruma at my little garden. The quarantine reinforces my regular routine, allowing me to continue working on a series of new projects for my upcoming exhibition at Leila Heller Gallery.
I think the pandemic, having impacted the entire world, has allowed us to listen to ourselves. Before our global shutdown, “I don’t have the time” would be all-too-common phrase, and we would not allow ourselves to engage in activities or things that didn’t have an immediate sense of value. And now everything has stopped, all of a sudden. No longer do we try to not miss out on anything.There is nothing to “catch up” with.
Regardless of who one may be, we are all helplessly prone to this virus. We are undergoing this crisis collectively, where our interdependency is more transparent than ever. This has led me to begin thinking about once-utopian words and concepts such as “humanity” that draw on the universality of this issue. So, I’m not too pessimistic. I believe that empathy and our understanding of social responsibility will be the biggest factor in achieving a worldwide recovery. There will indeed be radical changes in our lives, both good and bad, but we will adapt, and continue.