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"There is a possibility of enormous communication when you project contemporary images onto historic monuments," Professor of Architecture Krzysztof Wodiczko told The New York Times (September 20) in discussing his latest public art work: a video projection on Charlestown's historic Bunker Hill Monument.
Beginning at sundown tomorrow (Thursday, Sept. 24) and ending on Saturday night, the Bunker Hill Monument Projection features interviews with Charlestown mothers -- projected with sound onto the 221-foot obelisk -- who speak of their personal experiences around the themes of violence, freedom and tyranny. The 30-minute projection, part of the Institute of Contemporary Art's ICA/Vita Brevis "Let Freedom Ring" initiative, begins at 8pm each night and runs about four times until 10pm.
In drawing out their poignant tales of murdered children and loss, Professor Wodiczko walked the streets of Charlestown, visiting residents, hearing their stories of personal tragedy and sharing his own: the murder of his mother in the Warsaw ghetto one week after his birth. He was particularly disturbed by Charlestown's high murder rate and the fact that residents were afraid to report the murders to the police.
"Silence and invisibility are the biggest enemies of democracy," he told the Times. "...If you cannot speak, none of your other constitutional rights can be exercised."
Recognized worldwide for his socially and politically charged public projections, Professor Wodiczko is head of MIT's Interrogative Design Group in the Center for Advanced Visual Studies and teaches in the visual arts program of the Department of Architecture. He recently became the fourth artist in the world to win the Hiroshima Art Prize, which is awarded every three years to a contemporary artist whose work contributes to world peace.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on September 23, 1998.