CIRCA is searching the Earth for works of hope
For the III edition of the CIRCA PRIZE, 30 creatives will have their work shown on London’s Piccadilly Lights, with £40k in prize money being awarded to the winners.
This year, CIRCA has eyes for one thing above all else: hope. Now is a time for hope. As the CIRCA 20:23 Manifesto made clear, hope is not an empty affirmation or a luxury for the privileged but the animating force of today’s struggles for a better world. Hope — the last thing left in Pandora’s box when all else had escaped — is a form of energy; hope is a discipline; hope is the thing that brings together our dreams and our labours.
For the III edition of the CIRCA PRIZE, we are searching the Earth for works of hope. In an open call for emerging and mid-career artists of all ages, we are inviting a global community of artists, performers, poets, activists, architects, gamers and filmmakers to respond to the CIRCA 20:23 manifesto, ‘Hope: The Art of Reading What Is Not Yet Written’.
Throughout September, 30 international artists will see their work appear at 20:23 local time on the iconic Piccadilly Lights and across the CIRCA global platform of digital screens, following in the footsteps of CIRCA commissioned artists, including Ai Weiwei, Patti Smith, Tony Cokes, Vivienne Westwood, Yoko Ono, Marina Abramović, and David Hockney.
A CIRCA PRIZE Jury of artists and collaborators, including Sir Frank Bowling, Douglas Gordon, Anne Imhof, Michèle Lamy, Shirin Neshat, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Josef O’Connor, Olu Odukoya, Sir Norman Rosenthal and Nadya Tolokonnikova (Pussy Riot) will collectively decide the winner.
“The CIRCA PRIZE has established itself as a springboard for rising talent, and I am honoured to join the jury alongside so many incredible CIRCA artists,” says Norman Rosenthal. “I look forward to seeing what the future has to offer. Let hope take over the world.”
The winning artist will receive £30,000 to support their future practice alongside a new trophy designed by Ai Weiwei, who first launched the CIRCA free public art programme in October 2020. Previous CIRCA PRIZE winners Joseph Wilson (CIRCA 20:21) and Mary Martins (CIRCA 20:22) have received this life-changing sum, entirely funded by the work of CIRCA exhibiting artists. As part of the #CIRCAECONOMY, artists have produced affordable art prints purchased by CIRCA supporters worldwide.
“Winning CIRCA PRIZE 20:22 was a big achievement and has supported the progression of my creative practice, allowing me to continue using my creativity to work alongside and support marginalised communities on a global scale,” said multidisciplinary artist Mary Martins. “I would encourage all artists to apply, especially those actively using their work to make an impact and aspire to see positive change in the world.”
This year, an online public vote, powered by Piccadilly Lights will determine the winner of an additional £10,000. The CIRCA PRIZE and public vote winners will be announced at an award ceremony held in Piccadilly Circus, London, during Frieze Week on 12 October 2023.
“With public art spaces closing, arts education being slashed, and the cost of living crisis making a career in the arts seem impossible, the CIRCA PRIZE sets out to invest in the future of art and culture,” says Josef O’Connor, Founder and Artistic Director at CIRCA. “None of this would be possible without the generosity of our artists and their unwavering support of the #CIRCAECONOMY – this prize is with thanks to them and everyone who purchased a print this past year.”
The CIRCA PRIZE is open to all emerging and mid-career artists over 18 from all nationalities and locations.
To apply, please begin by reading the Terms and Conditions, which outline what we can and cannot show on the CIRCA platform. No nudity, no violence, no hate speech, etc. Please read this carefully.
Artists must submit a 2.5-minute piece of new or pre-existing work in response to the CIRCA 20:23 manifesto, ‘Hope: The Art of Reading What Is Not Yet Written’.
Submissions will close at Midnight on Thursday, 20 July 2023.
By late August, 30 artists will be selected to exhibit on the iconic Piccadilly Lights and across the CIRCA global platform of digital screens.
A specially formed Curators’ Circle, including Erkan Affan, Nana Biamah-Ofosu, Vittoria de Franchis and Sooyoung Leam, will select a top 3 from the 30 exhibiting artists.
The Jury of Sir Frank Bowling, Douglas Gordon, Anne Imhof, Michèle Lamy, Shirin Neshat, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Josef O’Connor, Olu Odukoya, Sir Norman Rosenthal and Nadya Tolokonnikova (Pussy Riot) will then decide an overall CIRCA PRIZE winner who will receive £30,000 and a ten-minute slot in 2024 to present a new piece of work created using the prize funds.
A public vote will determine the winner of a £10,000 prize powered by Piccadilly Lights.
All 30 exhibiting artists will be invited to an award ceremony held in Piccadilly Circus, London, during Frieze Week on Monday 9 October 2023, when the winners will be announced.