Shelter-in-Place is a series of one-hour long video performances I did in my Brooklyn apartment over two months in quarantine. I performed simple actions, often staying in one spot, fixating my gaze on one object, such as a clock, my own shadow or reflection. As life outside came to a halt, I wanted to stay even more still inside exploring issues of isolation, passing time, confronting myself and our new reality.
Racing Against the Clock
60’00”, 4K video, March 28, 2020
I watch time go by.
As an artist, I value my time alone for clarity of the mind and creativity that comes out of it. But this was another level! When I think back to the months of March and April, I see them as a kind of a thick fog–dense with anxiety, isolation, anticipation of grief. It rendered me restless, unable to concentrate on anything. I didn’t care for those early quarantine time-fillers, like Zoom happy hours, virtual D.J. sets or yoga classes. In a way, I figured, if I’m going to be alone–I’m going to be alone.
60’00”, 4K video, April 23, 2020
I inhale and exhale to the maximum capacity of my lungs.
In other performances I’ve explored our new collective mantras: wash your hands, don’t touch your face, stay six feet apart, dial the unemployment office on repeat. In Facing the Shadow I sat motionless looking at my own shadow on a wall. The week when nearly 800 people were dying every day in New York had just passed and this was my way of facing this darkness, letting it inside and grieving for the world and my city.
Facing the Shadow
60’00”, HD video, April 20, 2020
I look at my own shadow.
60’00”, 4K video, April 1, 2020
I hide behind the American flag.
Performance was the perfect medium for me to translate my emotions. It is physical and immediate. The first piece I did, Confronting Oneself, Unrecognizing Oneself, Accepting Oneself, was simply me looking at my own reflection in a full-length mirror for one hour. In isolation there was no one to look at but myself, nowhere to go but deeper into my subconscious. This gave me the framework for consecutive performances: simple actions, each lasting one hour, using objects only from my apartment.
It's Okay to Touch My Face, Now
60’00”, 4K video, April 11, 2020
I wash my hands with soap and water for 59 minutes then, for the last minute of the hour, I touch my face.
is a Russian-born artist based in Brooklyn, NY. Ginzburg graduated from Parsons School of Design, NYC where he studied photography. Since then he expanded his practice to sculpture, installation, and performance to explore his interfaith background, memories of growing up in Post-Soviet Russia, and his life as a Jewish refugee in America.
Ginzburg’s work has been shown in venues across the United States including: Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Honolulu Museum of Art, National Museum of Nuclear Science & History, and LA Center for Digital Art, among others. His works are in the collections of Museum of Art at the University of Oklahoma, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, and Kunstwerk Museum in Eberdingen, Germany. Ginzburg has shown his performances at Humboldt University in Berlin and Weltkunstzimmer in Düsseldorf, Germany.
Videostill, April 4, 2020
Referencing 'The Thinker' sculpture by Auguste Rodin, I question my role as an artist in the midst of the pandemic.