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Wodiczko honored by exhibits in Poland

Krzysztof Wodiczko
Krzysztof Wodiczko

Krzysztof Wodiczko, professor of visual arts in the Department of Architecture, is known worldwide for his large-scale, politically charged video projections onto landmarks and buildings. But he's particularly beloved in his native Poland.

Recently, he returned to Poland in conjunction with two exhibitions of his work, one in Krakow and the other in Warsaw.

Krakow was the site of Wodiczko's first projection nearly 10 years ago, an installation that incorporated movement and sound. Created in 1996, the work transformed the single tower of the municipal building on Main Square into a gigantic person, with the cupola as the head and the clock suggesting a face. Projections of hands helped bring to life the transmitted voices of drug addicts, homosexuals, the disabled, and women victims of family violence.

Wodiczko returned to Krakow last month for the opening of the first retrospective exhibit of films documenting his public projections. "Public Projections: 1996-2004," held at Krakow's premier gallery for modern and contemporary art, Bunkier Sztuki, from Nov. 9 through Dec. 11, featured five films documenting Wodiczko's projections in Krakow, Boston, Hiroshima, Tijuana and St. Louis.

In Warsaw, Wodiczko's works are currently on view through Jan. 22 at the Zacheta National Gallery of Art. The exhibition's title, "Monument Therapy," refers to a phrase coined by Wodiczko to describe two concepts central to his art: the memorial and therapy. The Nov. 19 opening was preceded by a projection onto the gallery's facade that represented the problems of female victims of violence in contemporary Poland. The screening of a filmed documentary of this opening projection is included in the gallery as part of the show.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on December 21, 2005 (download PDF).

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