13. Madison Square Park: Krzysztof Wodiczko’s Monument

Admiral David Glasgow Farragut statue with Krzysztof-Wodiczko monument projectionKrzysztof Wodiczko (American, b. Poland 1943) Monument, 2020. Photo credit: Andy Romer Photography.

Admiral Farragut fought for the Union side in the Civil War and as the Madison Square Park team explains, “Pertinent to this project is current scholarship documenting how the American Civil War drove millions – soldiers, civilians, stragglers, enslaved Africans, free people, Northerners and Southerners – from their homes to generate a nineteenth-century refugee crisis. Similarly, each filmed participant’s home country has suffered the devastation of civil war which prompted Wodiczko to choose the Farragut location for this project to compare how select individuals are lionized in wartime and others are overlooked. With footage of people from Africa, Central America, South Asia, and the Middle East, the bronze monument emerges as a surrogate for refugees whose diverse plights, harrowing journeys, grueling fortitude, and quest for democracy have recently brought them to this country.”

Monument will be on view until May 10, 2020.More than timely, Madison Square Park unveiled a site-specific work in January superimposed on the sculpture of the 1881 monument to Admiral David Glasgow Farragut inside the park. Artist Krzysztof Wodiczko, born in 1943 in Poland and an immigrant to the United States, worked with twelve refugees from all around the world who have settled in the United States, and the work projects their likeness and spoken narratives onto the Farragut monument in a 25 minutes video shown daily from 5 to 8 PM.