War veteran stories projected large scale on streets of Liverpool
AND Festival 2009
In a timely statement, acclaimed Polish artist Krzysztof Wodiczko presents War Veteran Vehicle – where large scale slide projections documenting the experiences of returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan will be projected on to the sides of Liverpool’s public buildings, including Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral’s bell tower from 23 – 27 September 2009.
Based on interviews with returning war veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, the project opens up the public space to the experiences of service members and their families in order to foster a better understanding of the impact of combat on their lives.
A main component of the project is a British military vehicle, which has been converted into a roving projection unit and driven by veterans through the streets of Liverpool. The vehicle’s gun placements, re-fitted with a video projector and p.a. system, transmit the testimonies of soldiers and their families onto the facades of buildings and monuments in the city.
Renowned internationally for his socially engaged, politically charged work, Wodiczko’s last work in the UK created a sensation in 1985 when he projected the image of a Swastika on the front of the South African embassy on Trafalgar Square, and a scud missile on Nelson’s Column. This is the first time he has returned to the UK or created new work here since then.
He was also the featured artist in the Polish Pavilion at this year’s Venice Biennale, which gained praise and interest through its stories based on immigrants’ experiences.
Wodiczko says: “This project transcends the traditional definition of art in that the goal is to give a public voice to a population that is fragmented and has no cohesive platform for self-expression. The transition from the battle front to civilian life is difficult for the soldiers who serve, as well as their families. War Veteran Vehicle is intended to bring attention to their plight and to hopefully engage dialogue around a solution.”
A film of one of Wodiczko’s previous projection works can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=juq-Z48lY7g
War Veteran Vehicle will be launched by FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) as part of a major new film, art and digital culture festival for the Northwest called Abandon Normal Devices