Last year, the digital art platform Circa launched its first exhibition on the giant electronic billboard in London’s Piccadilly Circus. With the plan to commission a new artist every month, the project has so far featured Ai Weiwei, who offered an hour-long film, and Patti Smith, who kicked off her month-long residency with a 15-minute performance streamed on YouTube on New Year Eve.
Now, the platform has released an interview with Hans Ulrich Obrist, Josef O'Connor, Ai Weiwei, Cauleen Smith, Elvira Dyangani Ose, Eddie Peake, Anne Imhof, and Patti Smith, where they reflect on 2020 and make a wish for the future.
The hour-long video sees the artists and curators reflect on 2020 and how technology played an integral role in keeping us all connected. Ai Weiwei discusses the internet as a public space, while German performance artist Imhof talks about a montage filmed during her takeover of the Tate Modern’s Tanks, with an installation titled Sex, in 2019.
Around the 42-minute mark, O’Connor calls up Smith, who speaks about a work in tribute to the NHS and emergency workers. “It’s a collaboration with Josef, acknowledging the certain amount of sorrow and great respect to all the people in healthcare who lost their lives in helping others. It’ll be indispersed with a song that speaks to rebuilding our world,” she explains.
The following month will explore the impact of poetry on Smith’s artistry, and will examine rarely seen selections of works written by Smith over the past 50 years, including some of her very first published verses from 1972. Four limited edition prints have been created to celebrate her residency, priced at £100 and available from Circa’s online shop throughout January.
Find out more about Circa’s 2021 programme on its website and watch the video below.