HOW TO GIVE A VOICE TO “INVISIBLE CITIZENS”
Performance of drones on inclusion, citizenship and marginality
Krzysztof Wodiczko’s socially- considerate work continuous to gain momentum and relevance, at least as much as it did decades ago. This time, the artist will bring four anthropomorphic drones over Milan’s central park (6-8 June, part of the Photo Week Milano). “Loro” (Them) is a multimedia installation and performance which uses the most innovative technologies to investigate the impact of immigration on the native population and give voice to the so-called “invisible citizens”.
Wodiczko interviewed some of them, with different backgrounds, age and origins, and registered their voices and eyes. He then embedded them into four drones equipped with two screens – which represent the eyes of the people he interviewed – and megaphones instead of the mouth. During the performance, the drones, usually used as military and intelligence tools and now made more human and empathetic, will fly at a low altitude in order to tell these people’s stories and establish a virtual dialogue with the public (Domus).
Wodiczko is known for working with people in difficult situation. For an interview with Maja Lorkowska (Contemporary Lynx Magazine, 2016), the artist shared his personal experience as a migrant:
“Without pretending that I can really compare myself to the situation of those with whom I work, because as an immigrant, I’m the aristocratic version, because as an artists, I was a more welcomed member of my adoptive society, than those who come from Syria, Afghanistan or homeless people, too. I cannot compare myself, but there is some level of similarity, because sometimes I was homeless; sometimes in my life, I was an illegal immigrant; sometimes I had to play games with the authorities to survive. Also I went through cultural shocks to some degree, having Polish documents, a Canadian passport, and I used to have permission for French permanent residency, which is more difficult than one can imagine, especially at the time when there was no European Union. Clearly, I experienced displacement. There are some nightmares that were a part of my life, as much as they were for all of the people from my generation who left Poland, or were forced to stay abroad like myself. Those nightmares have lasted maybe eight, ten years — flashbacks.”
Krzysztof Wodiczko, “Loro” (Them) in collaboration with More Art and the Adam Mickiewicz Institute
June 6-7-8, from 8.30 pm to 9.30 pm
Teatro Continuo Burri, Milan, part of the Milano Photo Week