The Cultural Institute of Radical Contemporary Arts
(CIRCA) is now presenting WAR & PEACE, an audience participatory work by cult-famed multidisciplinary artist, Dick Jewell. Dick Jewell said ➳ War and Peace considers the mixed messages received from common gestures. Through bringing together the diﬀerent eras and cultures within which the ✌ sign has been and still is used - from antiquity through to its contemporary use in the UK, Japan, etc - and those who use it from statesmen to the proletariat, I'm debunking the taboo that had been associated with the gesture by rendering it as virtually meaningless. However by blowing up the image with CIRCA and exhibiting it on the Piccadilly Lights and other screens around the world, I hope the public take photographs of themselves standing in front of it
imitating and adapting the gesture to become part of the work themselves.
Having launched on July 19th on Londons iconic Piccadilly Lights and broadcasting at 20:23 local time across a global network of screens until 31 August 2023, WAR & PEACE coincides with the ﬁrst time Winston Churchill used the V for Victory sign on July 19, 1941. The 'V' sign - a hand gesture which has the palm outwards with the index and middle ﬁngers open and all others closed - symbolised the ﬁrst letter of French, Flemish and English words for 'victory' (victoire, vrijheid and victory, respectively) and became a rallying emblem for the Allies during World War II. In the USA during the 1960s, activists against the Vietnam War adopted the sign as an anti-war symbol of peace. More recently, it also became a gesture associated with fun used in photographs, especially in East Asia, where the gesture is also associated with cuteness.
Winston Churchill ﬁrst used the V for Victory sign on July 19, 1941.
WAR & PEACE emerges from Jewells decades-long fascination with gathering, hoarding and reconﬁguring images. This summer, global audiences are encouraged to participate by taking a ✌ selﬁe and uploading their photo to social media using the hashtag #DJWARANDPEACE, with a selection of people receiving a free, hand-signed print by Dick Jewell.
Josef OConnor, Founder & Artistic Director, CIRCA, said ➳ Dick Jewell is a cult British icon. Using digital montage to create found narratives that trace the progression of visual perception, he captures the spirit of the times through one of the most accessible and immediate forms of art. Rendering symbols meaningless, WAR & PEACE eﬀortlessly captures this divided moment in history. We are honoured to be presenting Dick Jewell on the CIRCA platform and promoting ideals of peace, hope and harmony once again.
Dick Jewell is an artist/printmaker and ﬁlmmaker who still continues to work commercially as a cameraman within both the fashion and music industries. Dick graduated from the Royal College of Art (Printmaking MA) in 1978.
In 1979 he published Found Photos and participated in Young British Photographers, New York, and Lives, Hayward Gallery, London. His ﬁrst solo exhibition at Chapter Arts Centre Cardiff in 1980 was followed by group shows including the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, and the Summer Show at the Serpentine Gallery, London. In the 1980s he ran a record label, designing and releasing albums for artists including Gregory Isaacs and Prince Far I, and directed music promos for artists including Neneh Cherry and Massive Attack. Since then he has directed and made over 50 documentary ﬁlms and videos, primarily on the subjects of artists, dance and club culture.
These ﬁlms of the 1980s and early 90s have shown extensively at ﬁlm festivals and also at art galleries including the Venice Biennale, Tate Liverpool, MOMA Sydney, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the ICA. His work is represented in public collections, including the Stedelijk Museum; Victoria and Albert Museum; Arts Council of Great Britain; Hayward Gallery Froebel Institute; Newport Museum; Whitworth Art Gallery; Leeds Art Gallery; Camden Libraries; Dudley Museum. (dickjewell.com)
The Cultural Institute of Radical Contemporary Arts (CIRCA) is a digital art and culture platform with purpose. Every evening at 20:23, CIRCA stops the clock across a global network of public screens and mobilises the worlds greatest creative minds to broadcast unique works of art that consider our world, circa now. Driven by purpose, funds generated from artist print sales enable the #CIRCAECONOMY a circular model that supports the CIRCA free public art programme whilst also creating life-changing opportunities for a global creative community. Since launching in October 2020 on Londons Piccadilly Lights, CIRCA has distributed over £500,000 in cash grants, scholarships and donations.
Previous CIRCA commissioned artists include Ai Weiwei, Cauleen Smith, Eddie Peake, Anne Imhof, Patti Smith, Tony Cokes, Emma Talbot, Vivienne Westwood, Yoko Ono, Marina Abramović, David Hockney, Cassandra Press, Shirin Neshat, Frank Bowling, Dick Jewell and more.
Cultural Institute of Radical Contemporary Arts
WAR & PEACE
July 19th, 2023 - August 31st, 2023