Critical Vehicles [reflection]

Krzysztof Wodiczko talks about his art in context of their background. A lot of the time his critical vehicles were mostly working in context with the environment that he has put himself in.  “Each of them was specifically developed to operate on a particular, often shaky, psycho-social terrain.” He talks about his works like a medium, a person or a thing that carried things, displayed or transported vital ingredients and agents of the society he has perceived it as, and to represent “a turning point in collective or singular consciousness.”

One can certainly tell that Wodiczko had a very skewered perspective on how the world worked, or at least, he was cynical and doubtful a lot of the times about politics of a country. It helped shaped his work, considering how he talks about how much he has moved around from place to place, and how each work would only work in where it came from, as an experience Wodiczko has shaped from being that space. He talks about being a nomad, and how sometimes nomads were probably more aware of the terrain they have decided to come into, than the locals of the land. Which was what a passing vehicle would really do.

He also pokes at art without its substantial value. In a sense, I felt really called out. “Life must not be a refuge from full ethical responsibility nor indulgence in the pseudo-existentialism of one’s own depoliticization in an attempt to preserve one’s dignity and keep one’s hands clean”. I understand this, to live life carelessly without caring about the nature and state of the place one was in, I assume, was naive. He talks about the delusion of freedom quite a bit, and things like brainwashing; you could really tell that he was a huge fan of politics, and to call out democracy for all it has truly done besides what it is seen from the surface.

“Democracy is ill, silent suffering, and we must heal it, make it whole, of the wounds from hundreds of years of forced muteness and invisibility imposed on so many of its subjects.” He then states he wanted to heal the numbness that threatens the health of democratic process by pinching and disrupting it, waking it up and inserting the voice, experiences and presence of those others who have been silenced, alienated and marginalized. He was taking space, and giving you a new perspective. This then brings back the previous week’s reading about Relational Architecture. To be able to take a space and put a new perspective on things is something that Lozeno-Hemmer does. To take a space and give new meaning, seems to be something that Wodiczko wants to do. He takes message into the ideal of a man-made object, and then questions it.

1 Comment

  1. Nice reading response.  It would be interesting to consider how his methodology would work in a city like Singapore.  What would be the “psycho-social” terrain to navigate here that is specific to place?

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