Edinburgh Art Festival reveals plans to mark intended 2020 dates

Edinburgh Art Festival reveals plans to mark intended 2020 dates

Peter Liversidge, Flags for Edinburgh, 2013 / Photo: Stuart Armitt

Festival to present a series of artist responses, online and around the city

Though the Edinburgh Art Festival sadly won't be taking place this year as a result of COVID-19, the festival will still go ahead in spirit, as ten artists from previous festival editions have been invited to help mark the dates of what would have been the 2020 festival.

The artists will each present work, both online and around the city, combining archival presentations chosen for their relevance to our current social and political climate with specially conceived responses. Audiences can watch online screenings and live performances on edinburghartfestival.com from 30 July, and catch some of the projects around the city in public sites from then too.

The line-up of artists involved include Ruth Ewan, who revisits her Sympathetic Magick (2018) project with an online presentation of her short film, Worker's Song Storydeck, and a special poster series devised with magician Ian Saville. Artist and activist Ellie Harrison will present an up-to-date version of her graph showing the tonnes of carbon produced by the personal transportation of a 'professional artist' at a city centre poster site. Tam Joseph re-presents The hand made map of the world, first presented as a billboard at the 2014 festival, and Calvin Laing revisits the neighbourhood of his childhood to present a new online performance Calvin and Jogging.

Elsewhere, Peter Liversidge returns to his 2013 festival commission Flags for Edinburgh which invited buildings across the city to fly a white flag that reads HELLO, and Rosalind Nashashibi shares an online presentation of her two-part film commissioned for the 2019 edition of the festival. Tamara MacArthur creates a new online performance, For It's All Over But the Dreaming, investigating our desire for closeness and contemporary methods devised to simulate human contact in a time of social distancing. Presented both online and as a poster at a site in the city, Rae-Yen Song expands on Song Dynasty, a project for the 2018 festival which will add to its ongoing familial collaboration. And Shannon Te Ao's two screen video installation With the sun aglow, I have my pensive moods, commissioned for the 2017 festival edition, will be available to watch online. Finally, Hanna Tuulikki presents a special live performance of an extract from Sing Sign: a close duet, commissioned for the 2015 edition.

Aside from the programme of 10 artists, the festival has also confirmed that Platform, the annual showcase supporting artists in the early stages of their careers, will return with a physical exhibition in the autumn. Selected from an open call by artist Ruth Ewan and curator Sophia Hao, four artists based in Scotland – Rabindranath Bhose, Mark Bleakley, Rhona Jack and Susannah Stark have been selected to take part, with further details being released in the coming weeks.

Edinburgh Art Festival is also pleased support the Black Lives Matter Mural Trail – a new public trail of artworks by Scottish BAME artists in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, led by creative producer Wezi Mhura. More details will be announced on the festival website shortly.

Sorcha Carey, Director, Edinburgh Art Festival said: 'It is hard to imagine an Edinburgh without festivals this summer. We, along with our colleagues in the August festivals, will miss welcoming artists to the city this year and the opportunity to engage with audiences from Edinburgh and around the world – not least because, at a time of such significant global change, art offers a vitally important space for collective reflection, and to imagine new possibilities.

I would like to thank all the artists who have so generously agreed to contribute a response to our August offering, and have risen creatively to the challenges of presenting work despite the ongoing restrictions. We very much look forward to being back next year, and in the meantime we are sending a hello from Edinburgh to friends across the city and around the world.'

Edinburgh Art Festival returns next year from 29 Jul to 29 Aug 2021 – as always working closely with the festival's partner galleries, and alongside the extended network of August festivals, to celebrate the work of artists with audiences and communities across the city.'

Edinburgh Art Festival's digital work is presented from Thu 30 Jul via edinburghartfestival.com.

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