Art asks so little of people and it gives so much.
– Cauleen Smith in conversation with Hans Ulrich Obrist
Throughout November, Cauleen Smith has been rewriting and revealing each point of her COVID MANIFESTO in a sort of 'living' still life. Over the month, the personal and poetic, the eventful and now historical, featured on the Piccadilly Lights each night at 20:20 GMT as Cauleen responded to Covid-19 and its various aftermaths.
Image above: Cauleen Smith, You are the fairest, You You You You You... and me (August 6, 2018) Archive from Hans Ulrich Obrist’s Instagram account
For the last night of her CIRCA residency, Cauleen Smith connected over Instagram Live with curator Hans Ulrich Obrist to discuss the project, evolving from kitchen table musings being posted on Instagram in Lockdown, to 23 high-definition tableau still lives on the largest screen in Europe. They talk about ideas of global collaboration; the role of social media throughout the pandemic; the pros and cons / limits and limitlessness of virtuality; and in the face of this fascination / infatuation with the digital, how might we address the fragile state of our planet with agency.
Furthermore, Cauleen reflects upon the impetus of her MANIFESTOs as acknowledging and acting against the unrelenting racial violence throughout this (and every) summer, to which Han Ulrich frames this body of work as exemplifying the radical vitality of care and generosity in the public sphere that can be generated by culture-making.
CIRCA commissions a different artist each month to present new ideas that consider our world circa 2020. Pausing the adverts every evening at 20:20GMT on the largest screen in Europe, Piccadilly Lights, this November month has been guest-curated by Elvira Dyangani Ose and presented by CIRCA in collaboration with The Showroom.
More information about COVID MANIFESTO here
More information about CIRCA here