Monument/ Action/ Vision

with Krzysztof Wodiczko

In what ways and forms may we supplement statues, monuments, memorials, and institutions with new structures, programs, events, interventions, media installations performative actions, and other projects; temporary, permanent, or occasional -to intelligently and sensibly remember, make ethical and proactive sense of them in building our better future?

The most prestigious monuments to our culture and education - such as universities and museums, with their slave holding or trading funders and present day unethical and criminal donors - are under forensic investigation and historic judgment.
“The way in which the past is honored as “heritage” is more disastrous than its simple disappearance could ever be”
This remark by the philosopher of history Walter Benjamin is certainly valid when it comes to Monuments, memorials, public statues and our monumental institutions.

The presence and the future of monuments is in question. The monuments are a subject of public debate, investigation, protest, and civic action. Not only the disgraced statues to white supremacist leaders and slave owners are under question, scrutiny, and public judgment.

This workshop's participants will respond to such questions through the development of original artistic proposals that engage and transform existing monuments, or envisage their new concepts, forms, programs and new social contexts and situations for them.

The projects in progress, as well as selected theoretical and historical texts and related examples of existing art practice will be presented and discussed.

Office hours: Tuesdays 5:30 - 7pm EST

Oct 4th - Nov 15th

2 pm-5 pm EST

Students Max


Krzysztof Wodiczko born 1943 in Warsaw, Poland, lives and works in New York City, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and in Warsaw, Poland
Krzysztof Wodiczko is a former director of Interrogative Design Group at MIT, and presently a professor of Art, Design and the Public Domain at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. He received his Ph.D 2022 in Visual Arts from Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, Poland.
He is renowned for his large-scale projections on architectural facades, and monuments. He has realized over ninety of such projections in twenty countries.
Since the 1980s, through his projections and communicative instruments, he works with marginalized city residents on enforcing their public voice and expression.
Krzysztof Wodiczko’s work was presented at Documenta, Venice Biennale, Whitney Biennial, Liverpool Biennial, Montreal Biennale, Yokohama Triennial and many other international art exhibitions and festivals.
He is a recipient of 4th Hiroshima Art Prize “for his contribution as an artist to the world peace”.
He has held retrospective exhibitions at Walker Art Center, Fundacio Antoni Tapies, Muzeum Sztuki, Lodz, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, and other museums and art centers.
Krzysztof Wodiczko is an author of Critical Vehicles, MIT Press, City of Refuge: Sept. 11, The Abolition of War, The Transformative Avant-Garde, and other books including a large monograph Krzysztof Wodiczko, published by Black Dog Press, London.
His work is presented in PBS television series Art in the Twenty-First Century.
A documentary film Krzysztof Wodiczko: The Art of Un-War directed by Maria Niro has been released this year.

MONUMENT Krzysztof Wodiczko collaborated with twelve refugees who have been resettled in the United States; their filmed likenesses and spoken narratives are superimposed on the historic 1881 monument to Admiral David Glasgow Farragut, lauded in his day as a Union naval hero during the Civil War.
Whitney Museum of American Art New York, New York, 1989 The projection took place at a time when in the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev had initiated democratization processes known under the collective name of glasnost (transparency), whereas in the United States, on the initiative of Senators Jesse Helms and Alphonse D’Amato, a debate had started on the censorship of artistic activities subsidized by the federal government, as a result of which the National Endowment for the Arts introduced more restrictive policies and stopped supporting art criticized by the conservatives.
My Wish National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, 2017 In this projection, inspired by the recent social movement in Korea, various Koreans, including a mother of a victim in the Sewol ferry disaster, a fired laborer, a North Korean defector and a gay rights activist, tell their stories upon a replica statue of the Korean independence fighter and politician Kim Koo (1876-1949).
Loro (Them) Milan, 2019 For More Art’s premiere international commission, Krzysztof Wodiczko worked closely with members of Milan’s growing immigrant population to explore the complexities of life as a refugee on a continent that is increasingly hostile towards foreign newcomers.

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