Krzysztof Wodiczko

Veterans Vehicle Project

In May 2013 Polish artist Krzysztof Wodiczko will bring his Veterans Vehicle Project to London as a large-scale outdoor video projection in public sites across the capital. Wodiczko’s Veteran Project works with soldiers who fought during recent armed conflicts and are returning to civilian life. The project began in the North West in 2009, and aimed to foster a better understanding of the impact of combat on veterans and their families. Soldiers and their families were invited to share their stories, which were then recorded and incorporated into multi-media project.

For London, the artist wishes to work with new veterans within the locality adding testimonies to those already gathered. The presentation of the work utilises an active military vehicle temporarily converted into a roaming media provider, driving through the streets of London to pre-determined destinations. The vehicle is fitted with a specialised video projector and p.a. system that is linked to an interface allowing for speech to be transported to the desired surface as it is spoken, creating a sense of words being fired or shot onto the desired surfaces of public buildings and monuments. The life testimonies of soldiers and their families will be simultaneously projected onto a chosen London building or a monument.

Wodiczko has developed a series of tools and devices for urban interventions involving the appropriation of public buildings and monuments as a backdrop for his projections, activating them in examination of the public space as a democratic forum of contemporary society. Wodiczko collaborates with communities around chosen projection sites, projecting images with voiced testimonies. In his numerous projects Wodiczko had worked with immigrants, homeless, crime victims, women suffering abuse and domestic violence, war survivors (Hiroshima Project), drug addicts, disabled people and many others who have suffered various forms of trauma and whose stories and existence belong to the peripheries of the social consciousness.

Krzysztof Wodiczko is internationally renowned for his socially engaged work employing large-scale slide and video projections on architectural façade and monuments. Since 1980 his projections have involved the active participation of marginalized and estranged city residents. Simultaneously, he has been designing and implementing a series of nomadic instruments and vehicles with homeless, immigrant, and war veteran operators for their survival and communication. In 1988 Wodiczko was awarded the Hiroshima Prize for his contribution as an artist to world peace.  

War Veteran Vehicle London will be realised in partnership with Architectural Association, London, FACT Liverpool, and Combat Stress.