Fintan O’Toole: Why 2021 can be Ireland’s great year of cultural recovery

The pandemic usurped the artist in 2020. But live performance has long proved resilient

The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo, on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, in the Vatican: after our mass experiment in sensory deprivation, our senses should be keener and sharper. Photograph: Lucas Schifres/Getty

The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo, on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, in the Vatican: after our mass experiment in sensory deprivation, our senses should be keener and sharper. Photograph: Lucas Schifres/Getty

As we allow ourselves to imagine the possibility of life after Covid-19, one of the things we have to think about is how live art can reclaim its territory

Coronavirus didn’t just shut down live performance, it usurped the artist. The job of art is to break our habits, to knock us out of our stride, to make the familiar strange and the strange familiar. The pandemic did all that backwards and in high heels.

It has heightened our perceptions, making us all too aware of both the visible and the invisible realms of the world around us.

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