Krzysztof Wodiczko (born 1943, Warsaw, Poland) has been creating site-specific slide and video projections both within galleries and using architectural facades and monuments as backdrops for nearly thirty years. These politically-charged works of art, which have been shown in over a dozen countries around the world, speak to issues of human rights, democracy, violence, alienation, and inhumanity, and using sound and motion often include testimonies of the people whose plights they address. Complementing these projections are Wodiczko’s nomadic instruments, designed to empower marginalized members of society such as immigrants, the homeless, these who lost their closest to street violence and war, women, and children-survivors of domestic abuse, the war veterans and others.
Krzysztof Wodiczko emigrated twice, from Poland to Canada and then from Canada to the United States. He now shares his time between New York and Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he is a professor a head of Interrogative Design Group, and a director of the Center for Advanced Visual Studies and the at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Since 1980, has created over 70 Public Projections of still and video images that critically animate historic monuments and civic edifices. Public Projections with still images include: The Grand Army Plaza Memorial Arch, Brooklyn, NY (1983); The South African Embassy, London (1985); The Hirshhorn Museum, Washington D.C. (1988); The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1989),The Lenin Monument, Berlin (1990) and Arco de la Victoria, Madrid (1991). Public Projections involving sound and motion began with City Hall Tower, Krakow (1996) and later engaged the following monumental city symbolic structers: Bunker Hill Monument, Boston (1998); A-Bomb Dome, Hiroshima (1999); El Centro Cultural, Tijuana, Mexico (2001); facade of the National Gallery in Warsaw (2005) and the Kustmuseum Basel, Switzerald (2006). The Hiroshima Projection, was organized after Krzysztof Wodiczko was awarded the Hiroshima Art Prize.
Throughout his career, Mr. Wodiczko has also developed a series of tools and devices for urban interventions, such as Homeless Vehicle (1988-89), Poliscar (1991), as well as portable and wearable communication instrumentations such as Alien Staff (1992), Porte-Parole (1994), AEgis (2000) and Dis-Armor (1999-present). Dis-Armor, which was first developed for the City of Hiroshima, than was on view in the Triennial exhibition at the International Center of Photography and more recently in the exhibition the Interventionists at MASS MoCA.
Mr. Wodiczko’s work has been exhibited in numerous international festival and exhibitions including: Paris Biennale (twice), Biennale of Sao Paulo( twice), The Sydney Biennale, Documenta, Germany (twice); The Kwang-ju Biennale, South Korea; The Venice Biennale (twice); The Biennale in Lyon, France, The Helsinki Biennale, Whitney Biennial, Kyoto Biennale, the Yokohama Triennale and the International Center for Photography Triennial in New York.
In 2005 a major individual exhibition titled “IF YOU SEE SOMETHING…”was held at the Galerie Lelong in New York. The same year a major retrospective exhibition of Mr. Wodiczko’s work was organized at the the Zacheta National Gallery of Art in Warsaw and at the Bunkier Sztuki Contemporary Art Center in Krakow in Poland.
As a part of Art 21, a PBS series, a program devoted to Mr.Wodiczko’s work has been nationally broadcast (produced in 2005) .
In 2008, Krzysztof Wodiczko has completed major public projection in Warsaw (organized by the Polish National Theater and the city of Warsaw to commemorate the anniversary of 1968 Polish students upraising), and the new kind of mobile projection project-the War Veteran Projection Vehicle (organized by the city of Denver during the 2008 National Democratic Convention), and staged this October a major public projection in Poznan, Poland, in collaboration with Signum Fundation and the Social Emergency and Homeless Center in Poznan.
The next Public Projections is planned for 2009 in Bologna, Italy (organized by the Museum of Modern Art of Bologna) and his new public art project will be developed and installed in June 2008 in New York City, at the Governors Island, organized by the public art organization Creative Time.
Krzysztof Wodiczko is also copleting a permanent responsive media public art project commissioned by the City of n Cambridge Massachusetts (Public Safety Building, a “Percent for Art” project), planned to be open in December 2008 and is presently supervising a construction of the Memorial to the Abolition of Slavery, Nantes France, designed by him in collaboration with Julian Bonder, (an architect) to be opened in 2009 while working on new public art project for the port in Dublin, Ireland, commissioned by the Fire Station Art Center in Dublin.
Krzysztof Wodiczko is a finalist in the competition for a major public art project for the city of Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland and a winner of the competition for the Memorial to World Terrorism in Denver (with Julian Bonder, architect).
A major solo exhibition-installation commissioned by the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston will be developed with the support of the war veteran organizations. The opening is planned for November 2009 (to conside Wetran Day).
A major retrospective exhibition is planned for 2012 at Rena Sofia National Muzeum of Contemporary Art in Madrid, Spain.
Mr. Wodiczko’s work can be found in numerous public collections such as: The Fundació Tapies, Barcelona, Spain; Museum Sztuki, Lodz, Poland, The Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; The National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; the Artbank, Canada; the Israel Museum, Jerusalem; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Lyon, France; FNAC, and FNAC Ile de France, Paris; FRAC Pays de la Loire, Nantes, France; The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto; The Jewish Museum, New York; The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; The Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, The Center for Contemporary Art, Warsaw; The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York. Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw and MACBA, Kunstmuseum Basel. Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona.
In 1998, Krzysztof Wodiczko received the 4th Hiroshima Art Prize “for his contribution as an artist to the world peace”, in 2004 Kepesz Award at MIT, in 2005 award for “distinguished body of artistic work” by the College Art Association, in 2007 Katarzyna Kobro Award in Poland and in 2008 the Skauchegan Medal for Sculpture.
Education and degrees:
1968 M.F.A. in Industrial Design from Akademia Sztuk Pieknych (Academy of Fine Arts), Warsaw (where he also had completed his undergraduate studies).
Honorary doctoral degrees:
Maine College of Art (2004)
Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan, Poland (2007)