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- Author Krzysztof Wodiczko
- Date of production 1988–89/ 2013
- Dimensions height: folded: 145 x 96 x 160 cm; unfolded: 145 x 96 x 320 cm; flag: 258 cm
- ID no. MSWK/RID/109
- Availability in stock
- Acquired date 2014
- Object copyright Museum of Contemporary Art in Kraków MOCAK
- Digital images copyright © all rights reserved, MOCAK
- Digitalisation RDW MIC, 2015
The homeless vehicle by Krzysztof Wodiczko is an object constructed in 2013, based on the artist's design from the period 1988–89. The vehicle is four-wheeled and its design, while maintaining small dimensions, has a number of amenities for users and performs several functions.
When assembled, the object allows free steering thanks to aluminium profiles and OSB plates attached at the back. After unlocking them and setting them parallel to the ground, this part of the vehicle can be used as a seat. The front of the vehicle is finished with an aluminium frame, and the roof is closed at the side with a convex aluminium cone-shaped sheet. It can be unlocked and levelled so that it can serve as a basin. The unfolded vehicle provides a sleeping space under a semi-circular roof. Additionally, three foldable tarpaulin sheets attached to the roof protect against the rain. The use of intense yellow colour of the central part of the roof and a red flag which can be attached to it make it visible from a long distance.
The object was designed by the artist as a response to the growing phenomenon of homelessness in New York; it was an attempt to guarantee a minimum of private space to people living on the street. The vehicle was supposed to perform residential functions as well as improve the process of collecting bottles and cans. Its implementation was carried out through consultations with the future users. Apart from improving living conditions, the project was intended to mark the presence of urban nomads in the community and initiate a discussion on the problem of homelessness.
In 1988, the artist made the first two vehicles as part of an exhibition at the Institute for Art and Urban Researchers in New York. They were given to homeless people living in Lower Manhattan for testing. Further tests of the objects were carried out, among others, in Philadelphia.
The homeless vehicle is a continuation of the object implemented in the 1970s, called A vehicle which was powered by a pedestrian walking over it. However, the artist changed his assumption – while A vehicle was created to criticise utopian visions of progress, the Homeless vehicle was intended to show the real problems of the modern world. Apart from the homeless, the second group of the residents of New York to whom the artist directed his work were immigrants and refugees.
Krzysztof Wodiczko (b. 1943)
Object, social intervention, projections in public space. He is the author of numerous multimedia works referring to social issues, such as homelessness and migration. In his projections in public spaces, he confronts the most painful problems of a particular community. He creates works based on the close cooperation of three components, adapting the image and the subject of the message to the place (building, monument) where it is projected.
Elaborated by Museum of Contemporary Art in Kraków MOCAK, © all rights reserved