At least you can smile
Nazif Lopulissa - Unlocked/Reconnected

June 1, 2020 – Aug. 30, 2020
From 1 June, the eight banners along the Westzeedijk in front of the Kunsthal, will be optimistically flying, decorated with the abstracted and colourful ‘smileys’ of Nazif Lopulissa (1991). The work ‘At least you can smile’, by this upcoming, Rotterdam artist, is part of Unlocked/Reconnected. This project is an initiative by galleries Dürst Britt & Mayhew from The Hague, and tegenboschvanvreden from Amsterdam, in collaboration with about two hundred Dutch museums, galleries, and other cultural organisations. After a period of more than two months without an audience, from 1 June the cultural landscape will be given a new lease of life. Unlocked/Reconnected marks and celebrates that moment.

Following his earlier participation in the talent development programme Kunsthal Light in 2018, Lopulissa has now made the colourful, poetic, and optimistic work ‘At least you can smile’, inspired by his personal experiences during the lockdown. In his studio, the artist has always had enough space for tranquillity and reflection. Therefore, staying at home and working from home soon became normal to him. Since the world around him has now also come to a near standstill, he has been realising all the more that human beings were not made for the speed of our current existence. Busy jobs are dictating our daily rhythms, and we are so consumed by our activities that we are losing sight of the essence of life.

Pause to reflect

Lopulissa has noticed that as soon as the noise of daily life started to die down, many of the people around him actually became restless at first. Our daily lives were suddenly stripped down to only essential things and activities, and this also caused feelings of insecurity and fear. People eagerly started to search for other activities to entertain, and perhaps also to reassure themselves. According to the artist, this compulsory pause has given us the time to once again reflect on the everyday habits that we have not been conscious of for a long time.

Optimistic image

Lopulissa has translated the predominantly positive feelings that he has been experiencing over the past period into an optimistic and inviting image. No matter how much life has been pushed back to the basics, you can at least be friendly and show solidarity towards your fellow human beings. Lopulissa has high hopes that, during the past weeks, many people have come to the same realisation, and that this will have a positive effect on our daily lives in the ‘new normal’.

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