image of artist Kryzysztof Wodiczko talking about his work.

New York-based, Harvard lecturer Krzysztof Wodiczko (born Warsaw, Poland, 1943) is known for his large-scale slide and video projections on architectural facades and monuments around the world, as well as his nomadic instruments and survival vehicles for migrant workers, the homeless, and war veterans. War, conflict, trauma, memory, and communication in the public sphere are some of the major themes of his body of work. 

CAFKA invited Krzysztof Wodiczko to speak in our Big Ideas in Art and Culture lecture series in October of 2013 and Christie hosted the artist at a lunch hour talk. Charles Fraresso encouraged CAFKA to invite Krzysztof back to develop a project for the CAFKA biennial. 

The most significant historical monument in Kitchener may be the statue of Queen Victoria in Kitchener’s Victoria Park. Following closely on his projects in New York and Paris where the artist projection-mapped veterans’ stories on the statues of Abraham Lincoln and Napoleon Bonaparte, the Queen Victoria statue gave him an additional opportunity to stage the telling of narratives that run counter to the mythologies represented by official monuments.

For the Queen Victoria project we required the specialized services of a skilled animator and interlocutor. Gary Kirkham, a playwright, actor, and dramaturge, active with the Multicultural Theatre Space in Kitchener and with deep connections to Kitchener’s multi-ethnic community, gained the confidence of six individuals to allow us to record their stories. Five of the participants were refugees who had arrived in Kitchener within the last five years, and the sixth was an aboriginal woman, born and raised in Kitchener.

Video recording took place, coincidentally, on the Victoria Day weekend in May 2014 at the CAFKA office. Two cameras were used: one head-mounted camera to capture the face, and a second camera, to capture the expression of the hands and arms. The video was welded and refined by a compositor to create a single projection image. 

The exhibition was originally intended to play for three evenings, June 11, 12 and 13, however, due to rendering difficulties, the full program was only presented on June 12 and 13. A twenty-minute loop began at 9:30 PM and ran until 11 PM each evening. Over the course of the two evenings approximately 200 people were in attendance.

Software Employed
•    Derivative TouchDesigner
•    Adobe AfterEffects
Hardware Employed
•    GoPro Camera
•    Canon EOS (video)
•    Christie Roadster S+14K-M, SXGA+ DLP
Technical Assistance
•    Roy Anthony, logistics
•    Aylwin Lo, compositing
•    Lyndon Horsfal, videography
•    Kevin Wright, TWIST
•    Jesse Scott, set-up
Three short videos projected on the Queen Victoria statue are available on-line at CAFKA.TV here, here and here
Krzysztof Wodiczko’s Big Ideas lecture in the Kitchener City Hall on October 3, 2013 can be seen in its entirety here.
Images from his exhibition “Blessures Invisibles,” at Galerie Gabrielle Maubrie in Paris (May 16 - July 16, 2014 here.
His “War Veteran Projection” in Union Square, New York City can be seen here