Suddenly, a New Normal

Covid-19 suddenly brought about big changes to our lives. Amid fear of an enemy we knew very little about, we locked ourselves inside the house. All of a sudden, we had to give up many of our activities, daily actions that we took for granted and that we had to redefine within our narrow domestic confines. The lockdown was this: an almost surreal period of physical isolation, of discovery of a new everyday life from inside a house re-explored and perceived both as a source of protection and a constraint. And where it protected the majority from infection, the lockdown marked the beginning of a growing sense of insecurity and, for many, hardship. In the photographs of the lockdown, inside the house, the instinct was not to include the person, except in an ‘oblique’ way – we are present in the symbolic objects of new actions, in the endless re-examining of familiar corners during hours spent reading or working from a study or living room, in a socialisation mediated by tablets and smartphones. If going out was also a search for normality, for rediscovered closeness and socialisation, our relationship with the outside world was redefined by the symbol of the pandemic: the mask, our new filter, an instrument of protection and a restriction.