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The eerie experience of visiting a socially distanced art gallery

That artists, curators and directors will respond to the pandemic in their work is inarguable. Yet my visit to the Whitechapel also proved that the viewer’s role has also changed

By Ravi Ghosh  

EDITORIAL USE ONLY Installation view of a new exhibition titled Radical Figures: Painting in the New Millennium, which explores contemporary subjects including gender and sexuality, society, politics, race and body image, at the Whitechapel Gallery in London.

Approaching Whitechapel Gallery in east London, I can see queue barriers outside the gallery’s frontage. The silver, waist-high pillars are now a familiar sight in the city, marking out entrances, smoking areas, outdoor seating—and curtailing the spontaneity of the walk-in customer. For a small space like Whitechapel, an unplanned visitor is now an inconvenience. I am here on a rainy Sunday to see Radical…

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