University of Miami video performances target pandemic threat

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BY ABRAHAM GALVAN (Dec. 08, 2020) – University of Miami professor and artist Xavier Cortada has launched a new virtual exhibit to remind the community of the dangers of the pandemic.

“Pandemic | Miami Corona Project” is a series of video performances to remind the public that the virus is still out there and is getting worse.  

“I honored the dead by documenting their loss, and I did so to warn us of the danger yet to come,” Mr. Cortada said. 

In keeping with the reality of the times and the hope that people practice safer health behaviors, a variety of videos are showcased honoring and offering gratitude to those who have passed away. 

“As an artist, it is my job to speak the truth and unveil the reality of the pandemic,” he said. “In the videos, I try to humanize the deaths as a way to reflect on those who were lost.”

The virtual exhibit is part of the University of Miami Covid-19 Rapid Response effort, where Mr. Cortada provides coronavirus updates to the community through videos and conversations. “In this project, the interdisciplinary approach involved having politicians, UM scientists, students and community members share perspectives on how the pandemic has been impacting us,” he added. 

The project serves as a real-time record of the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had in Miami-Dade County, while also providing an outlet for cross-communal engagement between individuals, he said.

“My hope is that someone who has stopped caring about the pandemic comes across this work,” Mr. Cortada said, “and realizes that their impulse to stop being vigilant may cause the most harm to their loved ones during the holidays.”