February 24, 2012

Krzysztof Wodiczko at Tel Aviv University

On January 15 the artist Krzysztof Wodiczko gave a lecture at Tel Aviv University about his work. And I, being the architecture geek that I am, obviously attended [and took notes shamelessly, I admit with a sly smile]  

So, first, a quick intro:

Krzysztof Wodiczko (born 1943 is Warsaw, Poland) is a video mapping artist with a long history of creation behind him. His works are large-scale and site-specific and deal with social issues such as memory, trauma, immigration, alienation, and human rights. His projections usually feature real people and share their stories. He now teaches at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University

One project that I especially liked was a public projection on the façade of the Kunstmuseum in Basel, Switzerland (2006).

The project reveals the illegal immigrants in Switzerland. As they share their sometimes horrible experiences, their identities remain secret and all we can see is a few pairs of legs. This position – sitting on top of buildings with their legs hanging down, Wodiczko says, is stereotypically common for the immigrants. I think this design is strong and moving. It gives people to opportunity to open up and tell the truth as it is, without risking exposing their identity and involving themselves in any consequences.
I also find the choice of the location of the work quite genius. The screening on top of the Kunstmuseum –Switzerland's most prominent art museum, a palace of culture even - presents the sometimes inhumane experiences with an interesting sense of irony.  

Are you familiar with Wodiczko's work? What do you think about this project?


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