The Powerhouse Museum has decided that the coronavirus crisis deserved an exhibit. Of course, it only makes sense that it can be attended online, due to the need for social distancing. It also gives it an added benefit: The whole world can see it. If you are curious to discover what Australia looked (and felt) like during the lockdown period and the days of COVID-19, this exhibition is for you.
Capturing the Sanitary Crisis through Pictures of Emptiness mixed with Lingerie and Sextoys
The goal of the Powerhouse Museum, with this unique exhibit, is to show the impact that COVID-19 has had on the whole country (Australia). It features photographs of empty trains, reminding us of a time where we were all quarantined in our own houses; something most people around the world can now relate to. Other pictures show markers on the floors of public spaces, reminding us of social distancing or play parks… where no one plays.
But it is also showing another side of the sanitary crisis. The COVID-19 days were a moment where people benefited from more personal time. Those who were in couples were rekindling their love and sextoys like a Cock ring or a vibrator and sexy lingerie became items that were best sellers on the internet.
In fact, as some stores were facing difficult days because of the lockdown, and sales went down to zero, it was the complete opposite for the Australian brand Honey Birdette, and their luxury lingerie brand, which soared. The curator of the exhibition explained to journalists that at the height of the pandemic in Australia, the two most popular items in the country were the Kukuro lingerie set and the Harley vibrator, which is why sexy nightgown and sextoys have an important place in the exhibit.
Designer Scrubs, Pets and Public Transport
The Australian designer “Cue”, faced closing its doors during the lockdown, like many other manufacturers. Instead, it remained opened and kept its employees at work, manufacturing scrubs for hospital staff. According to senior curator Roger Leong, this showed how Australian companies adapted to COVID-19.
Cue was not the only company to help out. Milliner Neil Grigg also participated as it went from producing high-end hats to fashionable face masks. He chose to create “Puppy Masks” to show the strong bond that people had with their pets, during the coronavirus crisis.
Finally, a series of photographs from Katherine Lu, an artist based in Sydney, show how the pandemic impacted the city. It focuses especially on public transport, which remained still for a while during the lockdown.