Professor of Visual Arts
Director, Center for Advanced Visual Studies
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Krzysztof Wodiczko is internationally renowned for creating large-scale, community oriented slide and video projections on historic monuments and architectural facades. Since the early 1980s, he has realized more than 70 projects in over a dozen countries. Sites have included the Martin Luther Church in Kassel, Germany; the Campanile in St. Mark’s Square, Venice; Nelson’s Column in Trafalger Square, London; and the Bundeshaus (Capitol) in Bern, Switzerland.
Born in Warsaw during the 1943 ghetto uprising, Wodiczko frequently explores themes of healing, communication, empowerment and social change. His projections are a form of communal art, enlisting local residents and familiar public spaces to reach and unite peoples of diverse backgrounds. In 1998, he received the Hiroshima Prize, awarded every three years by the City of Hiroshima, Japan, to an artist whose work has contributed to world peace.
“There is a possibility of enormous communication when you project contemporary images onto historic monuments,” Wodiczko told The New York Times in 1998, explaining Let Freedom Ring, a somber and deeply respectful projection at the Bunker Hill Monument in Boston. “We should be able to call those monuments into question, to ask them what they think about what is happening today.”
Since 1985, Wodiczko has been the subject of major retrospectives at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Museum Stuki, Lodz; Fundacio Tapies, Barcelona; the Wadsworth Athenaeum, Hartford; and the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, among others. He has participated in major festivals and exhibitions around the world, including Documenta in Kassel, the Paris Biennale, the Sydney Biennale and the Lyon Biennale. In 1999, he represented Poland at the Venice Biennale of Architecture.
Wodiczko attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, graduating in 1968 with an emphasis on architecture, industrial design and the visual arts. From 1970-75 he taught at the Warsaw Polytechnic Institute and in 1977 became a visiting professor at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Prior to arriving at MIT, in 1991, he also taught at the Ontario College of Art, the California Institute of the Arts, the University of Hartford, Cooper Union School of Art and the California Institute of Technology.
Wodiczko has written on public art for October, Assemblage, Grand Street, The Canadian Journal of Political and Social Theory, Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art and other publications, as well as for numerous exhibitions catalogues. An anthology of his writings, Krzysztof Wodiczko: Art Public/Art Critique, was released by the Ecole Nationale Suprieure des Beaux Arts, Paris in 1995. Critical Vehicles, his first book in English, was published by MIT Press in 1999.