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Krzysztof Wodiczko in "Power"

Through grand scale audio-video projects in public spaces, Krzysztof Wodiczko transforms national monuments and architectural façades into “bodies” as he collaborates with communities to get people to “break the code of silence, to open up and speak about what’s unspeakable.” Born of a Jewish mother who escaped the ghetto in World War II Poland, Wodiczko has been deeply affected by the devastation of war and violence all his life. In Hiroshima, he works with tearful survivors of the atomic bomb, helping them “to open up and share with the world what is so painful” through a commemorative projection. In Tijuana, he projects the faces of women onto the spherical façade of the city’s cultural center as they tell detailed stories of being abused.

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Krzysztof Wodiczko

By appropriating public buildings and monuments as backdrops for projections, Krzysztof Wodiczko focuses attention on ways in which architecture and monuments reflect collective memory and history. Projecting images of community members’ hands, faces, or entire bodies onto architectural façades, and combining those images with voiced testimonies, Wodiczko disrupts our traditional understanding of the functions of public space and architecture. He challenges the silent, stark monumentality of buildings, activating them in an examination of notions of human rights, democracy, and truths about the violence, alienation, and inhumanity that underlie countless aspects of social interaction in present-day society.

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