As early as about 40.000 years ago, the first images of the human hand were depicted on cave walls in different parts of the world, almost simultaneously and independently of one another. From time immemorial, the hand has fascinated people as a transmitter of mental and emotional impulses, conveying thoughts and ideas, translating them into reality, creating shape and sound. On a linguistic level, this ability becomes vivid in terms such as “being moved”, “being deeply touched”. Serving as an indispensable means of expression for artists otherwise, the hand, veiled and dreaded as a potential medium of transmission, now has become a symbol of confinement. The present situation, the corona-induced standstill also handcuffs and paralyzes musicians worldwide. The enforced withdrawal into locked rooms, far away from the familiar concert halls and opera houses, the separation from the human vis-à-vis, lets many of these musicians slip into a dreamlike, claustrophobic parallel world, in which the focus seems to be directed to mere survival and the digital option remains to be the only possible escape route for artistry. All of a sudden and with all might, the state of limbo inflicted upon them confronts artists and society alike with the question of what artistic activity means and what it is worth: thrown back to the origin of man’s need for artistic expression, one becomes aware once more that there is no alternative to art as such, as an indispensable refuge, a point of reference, a source of creativity, a means of expanding one’s perception, a refinement of human nature and idealisation of human existence.
TEXT: VERONIKA FARKAS