Projection on the facade of Zachęta National Gallery of Art, 14.11.2005

Krzysztof Wodiczko

  • type of object: video
  • date: 2005
  • material/technique: 1-channel video
  • dimensions: 19'11"
  • inventory No.: V-19
  • image licensed under: CC BY-NC-ND 3.0

In References, presented at Foksal Gallery in 1977, Krzysztof Wodiczko showed images from a slide projector: a political press photograph, a fragment of the architecture of power and a religious work of art with superimposed horizontal, vertical and diagonal lines. His projections in the interiors of other galleries in the late 1970s featured hand gestures, the facial expressions of political leaders and works of art. In the early 1980s, the artist moved out of the confines of galleries and into public space, projecting images onto the facades of government buildings. He called them ‘memory projections’, a reference to the reactivation of the history of a building or monument. He used them to critique power and its institutions. Over time, his focus shifted from major events in world history to local histories of marginalised and excluded individuals or social groups.



The projection on 14 November 2005 preceded the opening of Wodiczko’s monographic exhibition Monument Therapy (2005/2006) in Zachęta. In the two vertical pilasters carrying the tympanum of the neoclassical façade, the artist incorporated silhouettes of women — caryatids — conversing with each other and sometimes addressing the viewers gathered in front of the gallery building. The themes they discussed related to the situation of women in Poland today, the problems and dramas they face: psychological and physical domestic violence — of which they are the most frequent victims and sometimes perpetrators — alcoholism, unequal social status, legal inconsistencies and crime.



The inscription ARTIBUS on the façade of Zachęta refers to the idea of dedicating the building to ‘arts and crafts’. The name Zachęta (‘encouragement’) thus also suggests ‘encouragement to art’. The artist noted that ‘in the case of the projection, this can mean not only encouragement to develop arts and skills, but also encouragement to fight for equal access to all arts and skills. To practice the arts in an equal and freeway. To be able to fight for one’s human and civil rights.’


Other works by artist in the Zachęta collection

  • Zdjęcie pracy "Personal Instrument" Reactivation
    "Personal Instrument" ReactivationKrzysztof Wodiczko2005
  • Zdjęcie pracy Guests
    GuestsKrzysztof Wodiczko2009

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