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One year later — it seems difficult now to reflect on something that has so surreally mundane. A life of masks, an existence of constant biological evasion, has simply become the world we inhabit. In this one year, we have stood testimony to a series of historical events, an intense intersection of circumstances political, social and epidemiological. This moment is both vast and individual, our experiences of it moderated not only by the banal puttering forward of our own lives in spite of everything but by a slew of events far beyond our control. If perhaps at first we learned to live in spite of the pandemic, it might be fairer to say now that we curtate our lives in careful negotiation with it. If the news was once too morbid or too overwhelming to bear, it has become an unavoidable reality to many of us that every aspect of the last year, be it SARS-Cov-2, state-sanctioned police violence, authoritarianism or social isolation, inflects each of us in a unique and challenging way.
New York City sustained more deaths from Covid-19 than any other city on earth, many of which occurred in the span of a single horrific Spring, but signs of hope emerge. The mundane gradually pokes up, here and there, like the tender, green undergrowth of a forest reduced to dust after an immense inferno. For many of us, the transition was rapid. Offices emptied in the span of a few days, our lives slowly imploded in a matter of weeks into their constituent parts, everything disfigured by the fear and human absurdity of this pandemic.
This project is an attempt to catalogue some of that mundanity. We feel that it is precisely this nothingness, this blankness of the everyday, that defines the endurance this city has propagated in the face of this gargantuan tragedy. It is not a hero narrative or fearless story of survival but an admission to the futility and gentleness of everyday life, a hopeful affirmation of the adaptable, transmuted quality of existence that wraps itself to any bounds, around any situation.