1 May 2020 to 30 May 2020
Sheila Ghelani (UK)

In these delicate times when it is necessary to be attentive to ourselves and to others, we would like to invite several artists to propose an artistic action/reflection starting from our common situation of confinement and its consequences on the notion of public space.


Sheila Ghelani is an artist whose work spans performance, installation, participatory event and moving image. She is very interested in the practice of medicine and care and the relationship between art and science with particular focus on hybridity.

We had invited her in 2015 during the Urban Academy devoted to "Art Facing Terror", and this time we proposed her to reflect on our new world in crisis.

She starts her reflection by taking several starting points: the idea of care, her instinct around her reluctance to respond to the present moment through art, the public space in relation to gardens, and perhaps her dreams, because even if she is confined, she still finds herself in the public space and interacting with others every night while she sleeps...

Confined Public Space

CIFAS has been interested by artists working in public space for 10 years, thus investing the city as an open space for reflection and action, organising workshops, debates and artistic interventions.

In this public space, the role of the artist is complex and varied: disrupting our aesthetic habits, developing tools for social cohesion, contributing to urban renewal projects, etc... The artistic strategies to be deployed in the public space meet necessities and constraints that are very different from the spaces usually reserved for art (theatre or exhibition spaces).

Today, however, with the COVID-19 crisis, public space is suffering: it is no longer possible to move around, cross each other, or get together. A social shock that we all experience, confined to our private spheres. So how do we make art at a time when everyone fears for their health and that of their loved ones and wonders when and how it will be possible to return to urban life? Is there an art of confinement? What artistic strategies should be deployed in order to create in this context? What has become of public space today?

In these delicate times when it is necessary to be attentive to ourselves and to others, we would like to invite several artists to propose an artistic action/reflection starting from our common situation of confinement and its consequences on the notion of public space.