Lisson Gallery

CIRCA public art project launches in Piccadilly Circus with work by Ai Weiwei

30 September 2020

From 1 October, a new public art project launches across the giant billboards in London's Piccadilly Circus. Every evening, at precisely 20:20 GMT, CIRCA will see Europe’s largest billboard pause its usual adverts for two minutes to screen a digital artwork. Each month a different artist will be invited to occupy the billboards with a specially commissioned work that considers our world, circa 2020.

Ai Weiwei inaugurates the project, reflecting on this moment in time with a new 60-minute film that “begins from the year [he] was born through to the current unceasing pandemic threatening the human condition globally”. Ai's CIRCA commission will unfold in two-minute sections every evening throughout the month of October. The artist says that CIRCA "offers a very important platform for artists to exercise their practice and to reach out to a greater public". This will be followed in November by a programme curated by Director of The Showroom, Elvira Dyangani Ose, and in December with new work by British artist Eddie Peake.

CIRCA is suplemented by an online platform, CIRCA.ART, which will stream the programme in unison with the Piccadilly Lights screen, enabling participating artists to upload additional supporting content and offering audiences in Piccadilly the opportunity to connect their headphones to the digital screen for a full audio-visual immersion in the works being shown. The website will also feature exclusive limited-edition works made by the participating artists, which will raise funds for a range of charities supporting the UK cultural sector during the Covid-19 pandemic. For the October launch, Ai has created a £100 print, available for this month only.

Find further information about CIRCA via The Art Newspaper.

CIRCA commissioned an essay on Ai Weiwei's project by Matthew Ponsford. Click through below to read.

'Ai Weiwei's Hope in the Jaws of the Monster' by Matthew Ponsford
CIRCA public art project launches in Piccadilly Circus with work by Ai Weiwei
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