CIRCA Calendar x Tony Cokes

The CIRCA Calendar is a daily stream of supporting content led by a desire to tacitly inform each artist’s film that gets screened on the Piccadilly Lights. This programme of content seeks to be impromptu and educative, and offer a new way of delving into the lives and practices of exhibiting artists.

CIRCA's February 2021 commission with American visual artist Tony Cokes brings four powerful new films confronting police violence and the questions we face in the post-pandemic era. Together entitled 4 Voices / 4 Weeks, the four films presents Cokes’ translation of words by John Lydon, Judith Butler, US civil rights hero John Lewis and Elijah McClain, a 23-year old African American man who died after being put in a chokehold by police in 2019. The works move from punk provocation to peaceful self-sacrifice, recalling McClain’s final words and expounding our deep responsibilities in the wake of violence against the vulnerable. Across four parts, Cokes’ 4 Voices emerge from contraposed positions but describe an arc and array of crucial realities we face today: mourning mass death, reclaiming the power of public gathering, and continuing the struggle for racial and social equality.

Following these tropes the CIRCA Calendar will take a closer look at Cokes' practice including his colour theory, his signature systems of coded text, and his audio, which includes music in the works from Manic Street Preachers, The Notwist, Joy Division and Deadbeat (Canadian musician Scott Monteith/BLKRTZ). A newly written conversation between writer and curator Lynton Talbot and Tony Cokes will publish on the 1st and feature on the CIRCA homepage. While a special series of video 'conversations' will be uploaded everyday between Cokes and leading figures including Hans Ulrich Obrist, Adrienne Edwards and Peter Saville that together explore the new commission and its global context. Other supporting content will include playlists and readings from the artist, images, 'bonus tracks' and previous unpublished works such as ‘Evil.80: Empathy?’ (2020), that all together exemplify the tone of the artist’s CIRCA commission for February 2021.