Artists | Krzysztof Wodiczko
Lincoln Statue in Union Square Park, NYC November 8 - December 9 2012
Krzysztof Wodiczko, Abraham Lincoln: War Veteran Projection, 2012 – Video by Carlos Lérias.
Abraham Lincoln: War Veteran Projection
November 8th - December 9th, 2012
Union Square Park North @16th Street
Veterans and Family Members Joan Aiken • Lyndsey Anderson• Joseph Avellanet • Roman Baca • Walter Baldaccini • Carl Cannon • Luis Crossman • Marie Delus • Trent Love • Nelson Lowhim • Blake Ruehrwein • Sarmiento • Carlos Tarraza • Carlos Zambrano
Panel Discussion: "War, Trauma and Public Art"
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Rosenthal Pavilion, NYU Kimmel Center
Watch the full panel discussion.
"...the artwork creates a vehicle for the speakers to relive the trauma, but also to potentially find other ways to process it."
Robin Cembalest in Art News
“The video of each veteran are projected onto the statue, their faces artfully replacing Lincoln’s, their hands, superimposed on his frozen ones, gesturing expressively as they tell their stories. The medium is surprisingly effective, with the veterans’ various personae convincingly inhabiting the statue.”
Phoebe Hoban in Wall Street Journal
For thirty two days, voices of veterans of the Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan wars animated a bronze commemorative statue of Abraham Lincoln that has stood silently in Union Square Park since 1870.
The memories and feelings of ordinary Americans spoke through Lincoln as part of an outdoor public art installation by Krzysztof Wodiczko, an artist renowned for his large-scale light projections on architectural facades and monuments. Abraham Lincoln: War Veteran Projection marked a return of sorts to Manhattan for the artist, whose last monumental work here was the influential and still often cited Homeless Project (1988).
“As our troops withdraw from Afghanistan, this commemorative statue, commissioned just a few years after the Civil War, again becomes a place for dialogue about war,” says Micaela Martegani, founding director of More Art. More Art, an eight-year-old organization devoted to bringing new and innovative works of art into public spaces in New York City, is the organizer of Abraham Lincoln: War Veteran Projection.
In collaboration with many New York City veterans organizations, Wodiczko has engaged with dozens of veterans and their family members over the course of several months. He filmed fourteen of the veterans and their family members for the installation of Abraham Lincoln: War Veteran Projection, recording conversations about their war experiences and the toll of duty on their family life. It was these points of views, presented in each person’s own words, voice, and gestures, that were projected via sound and light onto the figure of Lincoln.
Selected Press “The Military is Present” // ARTnews “Artist Krzysztof Wodiczko Projects Veterans’ Stories on Union Square’s Lincoln Statue" // Art Info "Emancipation from War Trauma" // Wall Street Journal "Krzysztof Wodiczko: Abraham Lincoln War Veteran Projection" // CULTURE.PL
Collaborating Veterans Organizations Coalition for the Homeless • Cornell University - Program for Anxiety and Trauma Stress Studies • CUNY - Office of Veterans Affairs • ECAD - Educated Canine Assistance Dog Program • Emotional Freedom Technique - Jondi Whitis • HonorVet.org • Hope for the Warriors • Housing and Services Inc. • Human Resiliency Institute at Fordham University • IAVA - Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America • Intersections International • North Shore LIJ - Ways to Give Foundation • Phoenix House of New York, Inc. • Services for the UnderServed, Inc. • Shining Services Worldwide • SWAN - Service Women's Action Network • UWVC - United War Veterans Council Inc. • Veterans Mental Health Coalition of NYC • Warrior Writers • Wounded Warrior Project
Programming and Education In conjunction with Abraham Lincoln: War Veteran Projection, More Art presented a panel discussion in collaboration with New York University (Art Therapy Program; Ikuko Acosta and Tom Ettinger) titled “War, Trauma and Public Art” on Tuesday, December 4th. Along with Wodiczko, participants included Ani Buk, an art therapist and trauma specialist teaching at New York University; Rosalyn Deutsche, an art historian who has written on the relationship between art, architecture, and urban planning, and teaches at Barnard College; Joseph Ledoux, a neuroscientist who studies the effect of trauma on the brain and teaches at NYU; and Carl Cannon, a Vietnam veteran who participated in the project, and works as Peer Counselor for Services for the Underserved. Carol Becker, Dean of the School of the Arts at Columbia University and author of several books including "Thinking in Place: Art, Action, and Cultural Production" was the moderator.
A related Educational Curriculum associated with this project was also designed for Manhattan’s 7th and 8th grade students, focusing on American history as part of their mandated course of study. We urge educators to consider participating and helping continue this important dialogue.
Funding and Support Funding for this project has been provided in part by public funding from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with The City Council, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Galerie Lelong, A Blade of Grass, The Lambent Foundation, and individual donors. The project was made possible by generous support from The Polish Cultural Institute New York and by the special assistance of the City of New York Department of Parks & Recreation, The Union Square Partnership, and the MFA Photography, Video and Related Media Department at the School of Visual Arts. Special thanks to Harvestworks Digital Media Arts Center and Studio PASS. The exceptional design was kindly provided by The Moderns, and the flawless printing and production of panels and graphics by Duggal Visual Solutions.
About Krzysztof Wodiczko Krzysztof Wodiczko was born in 1943 in Warsaw, Poland, and now lives and works in New York City. He is a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design in Cambridge, Massachusetts where he directs the Art, Design and Public Domain program. He was formerly director of the Center for Advanced Visual Studies and the Interrogative Design Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he was a professor in the Visual Arts Program since 1991. He also teaches as senior lecturer in the Psychology Department at the Warsaw School of Social Psychology.
Wodiczko has represented both Canada and Poland at the Venice Biennale. He has also exhibited at the Sao Paulo Biennale, Documenta, the Whitney Biennial, Magiciens de la Terre, the Paris Biennale, the Yokohama Triennale, the Sydney Biennial, and the International Center for Photography Triennial in New York. He received the Hiroshima Prize "for his contribution to the world peace", the Georgy Kepes prize at MIT, the Skowhegan Medal for Sculpture, the Katarzyna Kobro Prize, the Gloria Artis medal from the Polish Ministry of Culture, and More Art's own “Feed More Art to the World” Award. His major monograph Krzysztof Wodiczko was published in 2011 while his new book Abolition of War was just released. He is represented in New York by Galerie Lelong.
About The Union Square Partnership The Union Square Partnership (USP) is a private, not-for-profit, community-based organization responsible for the revitalization of the 14th Street-Union Square neighborhood. USP’s mission is to improve the quality-of-life for the district’s residents, businesses, and visitors, by providing public safety, sanitation, marketing and business development services, as well as investing in the beautification and maintenance of Union Square Park. USP also conducts a host of free events for the public, including volunteer days, networking opportunities and “Summer in the Square,” a weekly event series in the park. For more information, visit unionsquarenyc.org.
About NYC Department of Parks & Recreation Art in the Parks Program The City of New York’s Department of Parks & Recreation Art in the Parks program has consistently fostered the creation and installation of temporary public art in parks throughout the five boroughs. Since 1967, collaborations with arts organizations and artists have produced hundreds of public art projects in New York City parks.