The main piece in Wodiczko’s current show at Lelong, …OUT OF HERE: The Veterans Project, isn’t anything new for the artist. The 8-minute projection implies the gallery as the inside of a nondescript building in Iraq or Afghanistan while a firefight occurs outside, combining the artist’s interest in veterans – as demonstrated in his memorial projections – with his interest in works that open the gallery to the outside world – as demonstrated in his Venice installation in 2009. Unlike Wodiczko’s earlier work, though, it’s entirely devoid of any political power; a statement is made about the difficulty of understanding veterans’ experiences, but there’s no hope that this can be remedied, and no reflection on that lack of hope. This powerlessness towers over the potentially interesting turn to narrative in projection art – a field usually more concerned with spatial politics. The other video in the exhibition, Flame, is essentially a Winamp visualization of a recording of a US strike in Afghanistan, and is exactly as bad as it sounds.
Krzysztof Wodiczko at Galerie Lelong
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