Filmoteka Muzeum

New York, 1988-1989

Much of Krzysztof Wodiczko’s work is located at the junction between art and engineering, a factor that ensures the socio-political characteristics common to the artist’s work are a constant, and visible, feature. This work is the photographic and film documentation of Homeless Vehicle Project. Featured in this film is the prototype developed by the artist in 1988-1989 in New York, and the record of consultation with the homeless in the United States during the artist’s stay there. The multifunctional vehicle designed by Wodiczko was a response to a practical demand; to make it easier for the homeless to meet their fundamental needs, to assist positively in their everyday struggle for survival, and to improve the quality of their lives.

Homeless Vehicle Project was not only a tool to improve everyday existence on the street, but also to allow for a coming into existence, for an “appearance” in public space. As the artist explains: “All of my works, both Public Projections and the current work Homeless Vehicle Project, feature the continuation of my work on strategies of communication, the use of public space, and the conditions of a non-autocratic system”.

In light of this remark, Wodiczko’s works can be considered as responsive to the meaning and shape of democracy itself, and its corollary, public space. Homeless Vehicle Project visualises the conflict in urban space between the public sphere as a place of social harmony – the vision of space as a manifestation of social pluralism – and one of disharmony. This antagonism, according to Claude Lefort and Chantal Mouffe, is between the crux of democracy and determination of a truly public character of space.

The background and context for this project was informed by earlier projections by Krzysztof Wodiczko dedicated to the homeless. In 1984, the artist screened a projection on the Astor / New Museum building, in 1986, and also screened in New York, Homeless Projection, was featured in Union Square. In 1986-1987, Homeless Projection 2 was projected onto the American Civil War Memorial. In these works the artist explored the problems of gentrification, with explicit reference to the exclusion of the homeless from public space.

Description based on: B. Czubak, Sztuka domeny publicznej, [in:] Krzysztof Wodiczko. Sztuka domeny publicznej, ed. B. Czubak, Warszawa 2011; R. Deutsche, Agorafobia, [in:] Perspektywy współczesnej historii sztuki. Antologia przekładów „Artium Quaestiones”, ed. M. Bryl, P. Juszkiewicz, P. Piotrowski, W. Suchocki, Poznań 2009; R. Deutsche, Sztuka świadectwa: projekcja w Hiroszimie Krzysztofa Wodiczki, [in:] Krzysztof Wodiczko. Pomnikoterapia, ed. A. Turowski, kat. wyst. Zachęta Narodowa Galeria Sztuki, Warszawa 2005; K. Wodiczko, Wszystkie moje prace, [in:] Krzysztof Wodiczko. Sztuka publiczna, ed. Piotr Rypson, Warszawa 1995.

Year: 1988
Duration: 9'01"
Language: English
Source: VHS

© Krzysztof Wodiczko

Acquisition date: Jul 18, 2012
Acquisition: deposit
Ownership form: deposit