Pandemic Objects is an editorial project that compiles and reflects on objects that have taken on new meaning and purpose during the coronavirus outbreak. During times of pandemic, a host of everyday often-overlooked ‘objects’ (in the widest possible sense of the term) are suddenly charged with new urgency. Toilet paper becomes a symbol of public panic, a forehead thermometer a tool for social control, convention centres become hospitals, while parks become contested public commodities. By compiling these objects and reflecting on their changing purpose and meaning, Pandemic Objects aims to paint a unique picture of the pandemic and the pivotal role objects play within it.
This talk was part of our Curatorial Conversationsseries. Curatorial Conversations bring to the Warburg curators of world-leading museums and galleries to discuss their work. The conversations, led by academics at the Warburg Institute, discuss the issues of setting the curatorial agenda and staging meaningful encounters with objects. The series is designed to draw out discussion of the discoveries made, challenges tackled and the lessons learned in installing objects in the permanent collection and putting together internationally renowned exhibitions.