I Should Be Doing Something Else Right Now

Jonathan Reekie CBE

17 Apr 2020

Director Jonathan Reekie introduces the forthcoming digital programming exploring the themes of connection and commonality 

Now that our world has been brought to an unexpected halt, we can see more vividly than ever how in our previous state of acceleration, change had become the basis of existence and the presiding operational model for modern life. Such was the starting point of our current (now closed) exhibition I Should Be Doing Something Else Right Now, abruptly interrupted by unfolding world events.

Perhaps more than ever before, we recognise that our wellbeing depends on that of our neighbours, and in the main we have become good neighbours in this crisis. We have found a renewed appreciation, acknowledgement of and dependency in each other, paradoxically rediscovering our social natures in a time of physical distance. Our future is uncertain, but as we find our way, we might be reassured that we will be doing so together. These themes emerge in our conversations with artists.
In speaking to our current situation more than we could have anticipated, I Should Be Doing Something Else Right Now expands online to frame our new cultural programme, reflecting how artists are connecting, and for some, the imperative to fill time. The themes of connection and commonality, values which have always been integral to Somerset House as the home of a community of artists, makers and creative practitioners, are explored throughout the programme.

I Should Be Doing Something Else Right Now, Gallery 31. Image Tim Bowditch

For this spring and summer we’re also developing a new online strand, organised around long reads, deep listens and a weekly Pause to take in an artist’s work in full. Regular, newly commissioned content that demands your attention, much of it artist-led, and a delve into Somerset House’s rich archives, organised around live streams, podcasts, short essays and films.
We hope that these artist voices will help us navigate and shape the new world that we now must build together.  

Vivienne Griffin hosts the first live session of I Should Be Doing Something Else Right Now