Open Call: This Matters Now
To publish a magazine is to enter into a heightened relationship with the present moment.
CIRCA Online is calling for short texts on contemporary visual-arts projects, exhibitions and performances which have happened or are taking place on the island of Ireland in 2016.
‘This Matters Now’ is an open and invited project expanding our current research into the relationship between art writing, art magazines and the present moment.
Respondents are invited to write on what intrigues, moves or disturbs in the particular exhibition or project they have chosen. We aim to open a new dynamic space for engaged writing around visual arts in Ireland. We are looking for texts of approximately 250 words, this word-count is flexible. Additional contextual information can be supplied by linking a press release or a project description.
About twenty five texts will be selected from the Open Call with an equivalent number coming from the Invited entry.
Five texts will be published every week on circaartmagazine.website between the end of September and early December 2016.
A fee of €40 / £33 will be paid for each text published.
You can send propositions and / or completed submissions to email@example.com.
Between 8 and 10 entries will be selected for publication from submissions sent out on or before 16 September, 14 October and 11 November 2016.
The art and writings of John Kelly, an awkward bugger
All proceeds go to Circa Art Magazine.
“Circa-ish restores a much-needed critical voice to challenge the tame consensus that rules the discourse on Irish art.”
John P. O’Sullivan, Sunday Times Art and Literature Critic
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What’s Needed Now?
CIRCA Art Magazine, a Work in Progress.
And so it is that we are taking on the responsibility of devising a future for CIRCA; a prospect that is both exciting and not a little daunting. We both encountered the magazine as an established institution, which had been publishing reviews, news and articles since 1981, accompanying and, arguably, fostering the development of visual arts in Ireland.
We were both contributors (Marian from 1995 to 2000 and Michaële from 2007 to 2012), so we consider ourselves to be part of CIRCA’s broad constituency. We aim to reconnect with this constituency as well as to involve a new and younger generation of artists, writers, readers and producers who may not remember so well what CIRCA was, but can well imagine what it could be.
At present CIRCA functions as an online archive, a vivid and rich record of thirty years of the visual arts in Ireland. Because we are considering a new departure, we intuitively turned to the early issues, looking for the impulse and intentions that led to the publication of a new art magazine. The context of the early 1980s in Northern Ireland may feel somewhat remote from our present, and yet we can easily relate to the stated intentions of the first issue’s editorial written by Anne Carlisle and Christopher Coppock:
“CIRCA will look at art production in a broad sense; we feel it is important to strike a balance between articles on particular art and artists and a more searching analysis of art production in a socio-political context.”
Since CIRCA stopped publishing in 2010, there has been ongoing and varied production of writings on art in Ireland by a number of publications, printed and online, but it is perhaps this previous ambition to engage and try to make sense of the multiple contexts within which art is produced and experienced that has, at least in recent times, been less upheld.
In the 1990s CIRCA’s adopted the following mission statement:
“CIRCA is concerned with visual culture in, of and around Ireland. Within visual culture nothing in principle is excluded. CIRCA addresses itself to the politics of location, and to an investigation of the specific conditions affecting the making and reception of art.”
That is as a good a way as any to start thinking about what an art magazine such as CIRCA – whatever its form – in 21st century Ireland might be. Its potential role and impact outside of Ireland is also worth considering. Connecting internationally would be part of our remit.
While our initial focus will be on the archives and the website we intend to explore the relevance and sustainability of a return to print.
Your ideas are sought and welcome. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michaële and Marian
UPDATE, April 2016: Michaële Cutaya and Marian Lovett have been chosen to lead Circa forward. They were selected from the second round of proposal submissions received in March 2016.
Michaële Cutaya is a writer and researcher on art living in County Galway. She writes essays and reviews for Irish publications in print and online. She co-founded Fugitive Papers in 2011. She continues a contextual writing and discursive practice in the West of Ireland and has regularly convened and participated in public discussions on art and its broader social and political framework. She has been invited to present ongoing research on writing and publications in art colleges and institutions.
Marian Lovett is a writer, curator and project manager dividing her time between Sligo and Dublin. She was the acting director and curatorial advisor at the Limerick City Gallery (2010-2011) and director of Temple Bar Gallery and Studios for nine years (2001-2010). She has also worked in project management (Artworking, 1996-2001) and in art education (Limerick School of Art and Design, 1990-1994).
UPDATE, January 2016: Proposals for the future of Circa were received in November 2015, after an open call. Gemma Tipton provided an initial assessment of the proposals. Three submissions have now been chosen for second-stage development. They came from Marian Lovett, Kate O’Keeffe and Michaële Cutaya. Joint or separate proposals are now due by the first week of March 2016.
Welcome to Circa Art Magazine’s Archive.
Circa was Ireland’s leading art magazine from 1981 to around 2011.
A series of events, mostly recession-related, led to a cessation of publication in 2011. This site archives much of what Circa was. The site will improve over time, as more content is uploaded and linked in.
August 2015: Scans of the first 110 issues of Circa have been added. Select your issues here.