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CIRCA:

Hi Emma! We are honoured and very excited to have you as part of CIRCA’s c.20:21 programme for this month on the Piccadilly Lights screen, in collaboration with the Whitechapel Gallery and the Max Mara Art Prize for Women. Perhaps we can start by asking why you were interested in this commission?

EMMA TALBOT:

The prospect of being able to realise some work for the screen at Piccadilly Circus was super exciting to me, because it offered the potential to address the zeitgeist of our times so directly. During lockdown, I’ve really had to ask myself how art could or should function. What can art do in relation to a set of contemporary conditions we’d never experienced before. The CIRCA project, for artists to make works for the iconic outdoor screen extended the potential for art to have a life in a city. Situating my animations, that address the problematics of accelerated capitalist structures and their empty promises and appeal to us to reimagine our futures differently, within a space commonly used for advertising seemed apposite.

A Year of Dark Shadows, 2021

What will it take to emerge from a year of darkness and heal, Talbot asks? “Do you stare down into the pit… or up to the stars, pinpoints of hope in the night sky?”