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Photograph: Ken’ichi Miura / courtesy of the artistStories from the Room 2020 (detail), Jasphy Zheng. Center for Contemporary Art, Kitakyushu, Japan.

TarraWarra Museum of Art wants you to write about the pandemic for a new art project

Stories from the Room is inviting anyone to submit a written response to document this moment in history

Nic Dowse

The saying goes that you should write about what you know, and one thing all of Melbourne knows about is living through the coronavirus pandemic. TarraWarra Museum of Art is calling on all Melburnians (as well as those further afield) to submit written works as part of Jasphy Zheng's participatory work 'Stories from the Room'. 

'Stories from the Room' is inviting anyone to submit written works about pandemic – be they journals, letters, memos or just musings – to be included in a collection of works archiving the historic event. It's a pretty cool idea and one that Zheng has previously presented. Earlier in 2020, Zheng presented the work at the Center for Contemporary Art in Kitakyushu, Japan where she received written submissions about the pandemic from those in Japan as well as Wuhan, China and the United States. Zheng spends her time living in both Brooklyn and China, with her work regularly exploring communication – and often, the failure of.

The work is part of TarraWarra and curator Biljana Ciric's Art as an essential activity: an inquiry project series that explores how art can function in a pandemic, how art can contribute to our emotional wellbeing and if and how art can be considered an essential activity. 'Stories from the Room' is the first project for the series, with more to be announced. 

To take part in 'Stories from the Room' all you need to do is submit a written work about your experience of the Covid-19 pandemic. The work can take any form (emails, letters, diary entries, poems, notes etc.) and can be any length and in any language. The work should be dated and feature your name and approximate location (do not include your full street address in the work). You can submit works multiple times but TarraWarra will be unable to return any works – so if you want a copy, take a photo before sending.

You can find out more about the project and artist Jasphy Zheng in the video below.

There's currently no end date for the call-out, and works can be submitted either by emailing TarraWarra or mailing it to them at: Stories from the Room, c/-
TarraWarra Museum of Art, PO Box 310, Healesville VIC 3777, Australia.

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