KRZYSZTOF WODICZKO INVISIBLE WOUNDS -
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exhibit from may 16 to july 16
Krzysztof Wodiczko’s new work “Invisible wounds” falls with the extension of those he has done since 2008 successively in Denver (USA), Liverpool, Warsaw (2010) and New York (2012). These public events that give voice and bear testimony of soldiers returning from theatres of conflict as light made on the fate of individuals in their history and destiny are part of the continuing work of the artist, born in 1943 in Warsaw, and from the early 1970’s until today, has led to an approach of art in the public space for the expression of the shadows of modern democratic societies. Recognized internationally, the artist designs projects of temporary projections (particularly in the form of public projections on the architecture), but also monuments (such as Memorial of the abolition of slavery in Nantes).
For the project proposed in the gallery in May 2014, he wanted to meet with soldiers who participated in recent conflicts, allowing them to witness the realities of modern warfare that are rarely brought to the knowledge of the general public.
It is the spirit of the dialogues recorded on videotapes during these meetings that Krzysztof Wodiczko expresses in the following lines:
The projects objective is to give or reinforce a voice of war veterans and their family members through an artistic transmission of accounts of their memories, thoughts, point of view, ideas regarding their lived experience of war during and after military service.
A copy of a bust of a bust of Napoleon will support highly symbolic transmission of their words. Veterans who agreed to participate in the project where filmed in studio conditions. The footage was then mounted so their faces and gesture of their hands are projected superimposed onto the statue.
In this way the faces of the veterans will be no longer recognizable, but the movement of their lips, their eyes synchronized with their spoken words will “animate”, and seemingly bring life to the statue.
The veterans will thus appear as present day “speaking monuments” while historic monuments will appear as present day veterans.
My intention behind this projection-monument animation project is to provide for the veterans a way to place themselves temporarily in historical role in which they may publicly reveal and share the unknown to most people facts and feeling regarding war.
Taking advantage of “becoming” or wearing and being masked by the appearance of historic prestige figures they may fearlessly and honestly speak of their concrete experience of war, which is too often hidden in media reports, literature, textbook, film, etc. and in misguiding military recruiting advertising.
At the same time the silent, dormant and relegated to the past historic monuments thanks to the veterans animation will become awaken by the present day reality.
In this way, in conveying the lived experience of war both the veterans and the historic statue will become useful to the living in hope for fewer wars and less veterans in the future.
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