Krzysztof Wodiczko “Guests”

The Polish pavilion – actually a windowless cube – is surprisingly transparent this year. Floor-to-ceiling windows with rounded arches open the view to the outside. Through the slightly milky panes, the visitor standing in the dark of the exhibition space can observe people doing different activities. Some are chatting, others are busy cleaning the windows, leaves are swept above the skylight … Krzysztof Wodiczko is known for his public works with a socio-critical and political background. His works in public space revolve around topics such as homelessness, militarization and xenophobia. His contribution to the Polish pavilion is about the “others”, the “strangers”, the non-belonging “guests” in our society – immigrants. Present, but not present, visible, but still unrecognizable, living among us but not socially integrated, they lead a kind of parallel existence. In the projection we can observe these people through windows. However, we only get really close to the shadowy figures when we beam through headphones to the other side of the imaginary disc and listen to them. In his biennial project, Wodiczko worked with immigrants in Poland and Italy who come from various countries such as Chechnya, Ukraine, Vietnam, Romania, Sri Lanka, Libya, Bangladesh, Pakistan or Morocco.

53rd VENICE BIENNALE (2009)
Poland: Krzysztof Wodiczko – Guests
Curator: Bozena Czubak / location: Giardini

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