friday, 14 june Open 12 — 19
Municipal Gallery Arsenał

ul. Szyperska 2/6-8, 61-754 Poznań
T. +48 61 852 95 02

Opening hours:

Poniedziałek: nieczynne
Wtorek – Sobota: 12 — 19
Niedziela: 12 — 16

Krzysztof Wodiczko
24-26.05.2019, projekt odbędzie się w terminie późniejszym
We regret to inform you that due to reasons beyond our control, the project implementation date of Krzysztof Wodiczko "Przybysze" has changed. We will keep you updated.

Krzysztof Wodiczko is one of the most well-known and world-renowned Polish artists. The numerous awards he has won include the Hiroshima Art Prize (1998), the Kepes Arts Prize (2004) and the Katarzyna Kobro Award (2006). He has taught at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts in Paris, the Cooper Union School of Art in New York and other schools. At present, this former director of the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, teaches at Harvard University. Wodiczko’s works have been shown at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, the Fundació Tapies in Barcelona, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, the Museum of Art in Łódź, but also at Kassel’s documenta 8 exhibition, the 53rd Art Biennale in Venice, the Biennale of Sydney, and in many other galleries and museums. He is the designer of the Memorial to the Abolition of Slavery in Nantes and originator of the World Institute for the Abolition of War in Paris.Krzysztof Wodiczko’s socially engaged art deals with major social and cultural problems of today’s global civilisation. A context for his artistic projects is the city, interpreted as a space for public debate, as the studying of its historical memory and the reading of its current messages. The artist offers his reflections on the condition of modern democracy, believing that the measure of its quality is our willingness to receive strangers and to take care of the least privileged. Wodiczko is a promoter of what he refers to as Un-War, a process of cultural demilitarisation. His view is that nations are being prepared by their cultures for war, death and destruction, instead of being discouraged from them.His best-known works are projections on monuments and buildings the world over, as well as installations such as the Homeless Vehicle Project, Poliscar, Disarmour and Alien Staff.For many years, one of the central issues of this artist’s work has been experiencing trauma and working with those who, for various reasons, are excluded from public space. In the United States, he worked primarily with homeless people, immigrants and war veterans. Specifically for them, Wodiczko designed a War Veteran Vehicle by means of which soldiers returning from war could share their harrowing experiences. The artist creates what he refers to as cultural prostheses which enable those who so far have not been seen or heard to become present in the public agora. The Alien Staff (1992) is an example of how, by creating an object and focusing the observer’s attention on it, the artist gives an opportunity for dialogue to people who otherwise would not be able to engage in it. The staff gave immigrants a chance to tell their personal stories, and share their experiences and traumas with the people of the country they arrived in. A 2018 project featuring Weimar’s monument to Goethe and Schiller had a similar purpose. By taking up and developing his idea of monument therapy, i.e. using existing monuments to change messages promoted in the public sphere, the artist created an interactive situation involving the people of Weimar and newly-arrived immigrants from Syria. This is how Wodiczko comments on his projects: “In principle and in its essence, art helps us to convey something that is terrible, and yet eerily familiar. This is because art is partly real and partly fictional. We can create a situation in which people will also face their own fears and their own absurd behaviour if art can find the right form for it. This is an indirect, rather than direct, message. Thanks to this, little by little, we can emotionally and intellectually understand our own situation in relation to others, for example strangers, especially if our own strangeness appears there as an element that we have denied. On the other hand, for those who have no chance to speak or to share their experiences or visions in a new social environment, the artist can also create adequate opportunities, conditions and forms that will allow them to express their opinions.”In Incomers, an artistic project carried out in Poznań in May 2019, a specially-adapted drone will be employed to establish cross-cultural communication. The artist intends to use the unusual way the machine moves in order to attract our attention to a Stranger who appears “out of nowhere” in the spaces that are familiar to us. The purpose of introducing the Stranger’s unusual face that is moving in the air, a face that will be able to communicate with the people of the city, is to focus our attention on those who try to be invisible in our world and have no opportunity to speak or to talk about themselves. Despite the negative propaganda prevailing in the media, immigrants are an integral and valuable part of life in Poland. The project features immigrants from various countries and cultures who have come to Poznań for a longer or shorter period of time. They include people who settled permanently in the city decades ago, as well as those who came here only recently. We will also have an opportunity to listen to Polish Muslims, who are seen as strangers because of the cultural prejudices they encounter in our country. The Incomers project gives voice to them.Marek Wasilewski

organisers: Municipal Gallery Arsenał & Estrada Poznańska

Przybysze / Incomers is a public experiment testing the grounds for Loro (Them), a project originally commissioned by and developed with More Art ( in collaboration with the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, which will be presented in Milan on June 6-8, 2019.