FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THE ART OF UN-WAR, a detailed examination of artist Krzysztof Wodiczko’s powerful responses to war will be screened at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC presented in conjunction with FilmFestDC 2022.
New York, NY - (March 27, 2022)- THE ART OF UN-WAR, a film by Maria Niro featuring the work of internationally renowned artist Krzysztof Wodiczko, an instigator for social change for over five decades, will screen at the National Gallery of Art as part of the 36th FilmFestDC 2022. The screening will be on Saturday, April 30th, at 2:00 pm followed by a discussion with artist Krzysztof Wodiczko and filmmaker Maria Niro. The film, which is an in-depth investigation into Wodiczko’s life and art, focuses on the recurring theme of war in his art throughout his career which spans over five decades. Audience attendance for the festival totals over 16,000 every year.
THE ART OF UN-WAR explores Wodiczko’s life and the art interventions he creates as powerful responses to the inequities and horrors of war and injustice. The film delves into timely works such as Abraham Lincoln War Veteran Projection in Union Square, NYC, where Wodiczko projects the voices and images of soldiers from 20th and 21st-century wars onto the statue of Lincoln. Throughout the film, the artist’s powerful interventions become examples of how art can be used to disrupt public complacency.
The evolution of Wodiczko’s political art unfolds throughout the film from his first intervention created in Warsaw in 1968, to one of his most ambitious projects and a focal point of the film - a radical proposal to transform Paris’ Arc De Triomphe war monument into a site for peace-building research and activism. Wodiczko counters the monument’s glorification of war and portrayal of distorted histories by constructing scaffolding around the Arc De Triomphe and transforming it into its complete antithesis. Although the project has not yet been realized, in the film Wodiczko exclaims that “the day will come - it will happen. People will learn how absurd resolving or dealing with human conflict through war is.”
THE ART OF UN-WAR includes major works from the artist's oeuvre as well as rare footage of Wodiczko’s public projections in the past decade in South Korea, Canada, and France filmed by filmmaker Maria Niro.Born in 1943 in Warsaw Poland, Krzysztof Wodiczko is renowned for his large-scale public projections on monuments and institutional facades worldwide that explore the relationships between communities, history, and public space. The artist has dealt extensively with trauma and healing in his projections, honoring people’s stories of pain, loss, and perseverance. Over many years, the projections have evolved from still slides to live and recorded videos utilizing individual faces, voices, and narratives. Wodiczko is also known for interactive instruments and vehicles that empower marginalized individuals and communities and give light to societal injustices.
Wodiczko received the Hiroshima Art Prize "for his contribution as an international artist to world peace", and represented Poland and Canada in the Venice Biennale (Canadian Pavillion and Polish Pavilions). He is also the recipient of the Skowhegan Medal for Sculpture; the Georgy Kepes Award, MIT; the Katarzyna Kobro Prize, and "Gloria Artis" Golden Medal from the Polish Ministry of Culture. Krzysztof Wodiczko is a former Director of the Center for Advanced Visual Studies and the head of the Interrogative Design Group at MIT. Since 2010 he has been a Professor and a coordinator of Art, Design and the Public Domain, a postgraduate (MDes) concentration at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University. For more information visit Galerie Lelong who represents Wodiczko.
Maria Niro is a New York City-based film artist whose work includes long-form documentaries and experimental shorts. The Art of Un-War, is her debut feature-length documentary. Niro’s films have been presented at film festivals and museums globally including Queens Museum, Microscope Gallery, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Anthology Film Archives, Exit Art Gallery, WNDX Festival in Canada, Los Angeles Art Organization, European Media Art Festival in Germany, Whitechapel Gallery UK, The Berlin International Directors Lounge, and Festival Internacional Del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano CUBA, among many others.
Her past work has been recognized and/or supported by the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), the Polish Cultural Institute NY, the Puffin Foundation, the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Seoul S Korea, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and City Artists Corps Grant, among others.
Niro studied Film and Media Studies at The New School for Social Research/ New School University. She has served on the Board of Directors at The New American Cinema Group / The Film-makers' Cooperative in New York City. She proudly serves on the advisory board of More Art, a nonprofit organization that supports collaborations between professional artists and communities to create public art and educational programs that inspire social justice. She lives and works in New York City.
Additional funding for THE ART OF UN-WAR has been made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, the Museum of Modern Contemporary Art (Seoul S. Korea), the Puffin Foundation, and the Polish Cultural Institute New York.