Krzysztof Wodiczko

“So each [art] space in East Village at that time in 1987 was basically a renovated apartment. Which was the case with Hal Bromm Gallery, which moved from Tribeca to the East Village following the trend. So the galleries moved in, together with so-called “yuppies,” meaning the more affluent young people who were moving into the city rather than the suburbs in order to be closer to their offices and studios and the media and financial kind of businesses. So of course you have a clash between poor people, squatters, and yuppies, art galleries. It’s clear that artists were part of this gentrification process, uplifting the value of properties, and eventually knowing or not knowing, mostly not knowing, what contributed to the coming of this new affluent class into the area. And galleries at the same time implicated in evicting and getting rid of people—poor people, squatters—and actually producing homelessness or displacing people from their own habitat.”

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Krzysztof Wodiczko, installation view, *Real Estate Projection*, 1987. Site-specific work with four-channel 35-mm slide projection, Hal Bromm Gallery, New York. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Lelong, & Co., New York. \n\n
Krzysztof Wodiczko, detail view, *Real Estate Projection*, 1987. Site-specific work with four-channel 35-mm slide projection, Hal Bromm Gallery, New York. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Lelong, & Co., New York. \n\n
 
“The Fine Art of Gentrification,” October vol. 31, 1984

by Rosalyn Deutsche and Cara Gendel Ryan. In the early 1980’s, New York’s East Village became a hub for artists and galleries. This foundational essay reframes the East Village art scene and the majority of its promoters as contributors to the displacement of the area’s working class inhabitants. Rosalyn Deutsche is an art historian and critic who teaches modern and contemporary art at Barnard College/Columbia University.

 

 
“‘Polis’ in ancient Greece was understood as the space of rights. It was famous in the world at that time for guaranteeing the right of the members of the ‘polis’ to freely speak and exchange their points of view—in the Agora, but also enjoying civic rights, like voting, for example, and various freedoms and rights guaranteed by the Republic. However, women, slaves and foreigners, to various degrees, didn’t have those rights or they had limited rights. So that means that Athenian democracy was very limited in terms of number of people who could enjoy it. The decision to call it ‘Poliscar’ rather than police car is just to emphasize the difference between the proper notion of ‘polis’ and the way that word became part of ‘police’ which is, of course, about keeping our public space civilized and protected. But we know very well about all of the abuses of police, especially now today.”

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Krzysztof Wodiczko, *Poliscar in New York*, 1991. Black and white photograph, 20 × 16 inches. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Lelong & Co., New York.\n
Krzysztof Wodiczko, *Poliscar in New York*, 1991. Black and white photograph, 20 × 16 inches. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Lelong & Co., New York.\n
Krzysztof Wodiczko *Drawing for Poliscar*, 1991. Graphite on vellum, 30 × 53 inches. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Lelong & Co., New York.
Krzysztof Wodiczko, detail view, *Drawing for Poliscar*, 1991. Graphite on vellum. 66.93 × 12.72 inches. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Lelong & Co., New York.\n\n
 
“Tompkins Square Park Timeline,” Krzysztof Wodiczko, New York City Tableaux: Tompkins Square, the Homeless Vehicle Project, 1989

by Neil Smith (1954–2012) geographer and activist. The timeline was produced for the exhibition catalog of Wodiczko’s 1989 exhibition at the alternative space Exit Art, New York. Smith traces the history of conflict at Tompkins Square Park in the East Village from 1831 through the end of the 1980s, revealing a pattern of conflict, occupation, and expulsion spanning nearly 150 years. Smith was Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Geography at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

Krzysztof Wodiczko, *Astor Building*, New York, 1984. Public projection at the Astor Building, New York. Organized by the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Lelong, New York.
Krzysztof Wodiczko, *Homeless Vehicle, Variant 3*, 1988–89. Aluminum. Lexan, plywood, plastic, fabric, steel, rubber, 72 × 92 × 40 inches. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Lelong, New York.
Krzysztof Wodiczko, Preliminary drawings for *Homeless Vehicle, Variant 3*, 1988–89. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Lelong & Co, New York.
 

Krzysztof Wodiczko (b. 1943, Warsaw, Poland) has realized more than 90 large-scale outdoor and indoor slide and video projections on architectural facades and public monuments as well as in museums and galleries in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, England, Turkey, Germany, Holland, Northern Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Czech Republic, Poland, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, and the United States. Since 1985, he has also been the subject of major retrospectives at such institutions as the MIT List Visual Arts Center, Boston; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Museum Sztuki, Lodz; Fundacio Antoni Tapies, Barcelona; Wadsworth Athenaeum, Hartford CT; La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; Contemporary Art Center, Warsaw; Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw; DOX contemporart Art Center, Prague; Foundation for Art Culture and Technology, Liverpool; and Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul. His work has been exhibited in Documenta (twice), Paris Biennale, Sydney Biennale, Lyon Biennale, Venice Biennale (Canadian and Polish Pavilions); Whitney Biennial, Yokohama Triennale, International Center for Photography Triennale in New York, Montreal Biennale, and Liverpool Biennial; in Magiciens de la Terre, Paris; Venice Biennale of Architecture (International Pavilion), and other international art festivals and exhibitions. He was born in 1943 in Warsaw, Poland, and lives and works in New York City; Cambridge, Massachusetts; and Warsaw.

Krzysztof Wodiczko

“So each [art] space in East Village at that time in 1987 was basically a renovated apartment. Which was the case with Hal Bromm Gallery, which moved from Tribeca to the East Village following the trend. So the galleries moved in, together with so-called “yuppies,” meaning the more affluent young people who were moving into the city rather than the suburbs in order to be closer to their offices and studios and the media and financial kind of businesses. So of course you have a clash between poor people, squatters, and yuppies, art galleries. It’s clear that artists were part of this gentrification process, uplifting the value of properties, and eventually knowing or not knowing, mostly not knowing, what contributed to the coming of this new affluent class into the area. And galleries at the same time implicated in evicting and getting rid of people—poor people, squatters—and actually producing homelessness or displacing people from their own habitat.”

 
“The Fine Art of Gentrification,” October vol. 31, 1984

by Rosalyn Deutsche and Cara Gendel Ryan. In the early 1980’s, New York’s East Village became a hub for artists and galleries. This foundational essay reframes the East Village art scene and the majority of its promoters as contributors to the displacement of the area’s working class inhabitants. Rosalyn Deutsche is an art historian and critic who teaches modern and contemporary art at Barnard College/Columbia University.

 

 
“‘Polis’ in ancient Greece was understood as the space of rights. It was famous in the world at that time for guaranteeing the right of the members of the ‘polis’ to freely speak and exchange their points of view—in the Agora, but also enjoying civic rights, like voting, for example, and various freedoms and rights guaranteed by the Republic. However, women, slaves and foreigners, to various degrees, didn’t have those rights or they had limited rights. So that means that Athenian democracy was very limited in terms of number of people who could enjoy it. The decision to call it ‘Poliscar’ rather than police car is just to emphasize the difference between the proper notion of ‘polis’ and the way that word became part of ‘police’ which is, of course, about keeping our public space civilized and protected. But we know very well about all of the abuses of police, especially now today.”

 
“Tompkins Square Park Timeline,” Krzysztof Wodiczko, New York City Tableaux: Tompkins Square, the Homeless Vehicle Project, 1989

by Neil Smith (1954–2012) geographer and activist. The timeline was produced for the exhibition catalog of Wodiczko’s 1989 exhibition at the alternative space Exit Art, New York. Smith traces the history of conflict at Tompkins Square Park in the East Village from 1831 through the end of the 1980s, revealing a pattern of conflict, occupation, and expulsion spanning nearly 150 years. Smith was Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Geography at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

 

Krzysztof Wodiczko (b. 1943, Warsaw, Poland) has realized more than 90 large-scale outdoor and indoor slide and video projections on architectural facades and public monuments as well as in museums and galleries in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, England, Turkey, Germany, Holland, Northern Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Czech Republic, Poland, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, and the United States. Since 1985, he has also been the subject of major retrospectives at such institutions as the MIT List Visual Arts Center, Boston; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Museum Sztuki, Lodz; Fundacio Antoni Tapies, Barcelona; Wadsworth Athenaeum, Hartford CT; La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; Contemporary Art Center, Warsaw; Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw; DOX contemporart Art Center, Prague; Foundation for Art Culture and Technology, Liverpool; and Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul. His work has been exhibited in Documenta (twice), Paris Biennale, Sydney Biennale, Lyon Biennale, Venice Biennale (Canadian and Polish Pavilions); Whitney Biennial, Yokohama Triennale, International Center for Photography Triennale in New York, Montreal Biennale, and Liverpool Biennial; in Magiciens de la Terre, Paris; Venice Biennale of Architecture (International Pavilion), and other international art festivals and exhibitions. He was born in 1943 in Warsaw, Poland, and lives and works in New York City; Cambridge, Massachusetts; and Warsaw.