For the duration of the Interrogative Design exhibition, we will be providing expanded online content to give viewers a deeper access to selected projects. Materials for this exhibit provided by the artist, with unique edits specially produced for this project by GSD Exhibitions.
Loro (Them), 2019, Milan, Italy
• Parco Sempione
• Run Dates: June 6–9, 2019
Parco Sempione, built between 1888 and 1894, provides city dwellers with 95 acres of open green space in the historic center of Milan. For More Art’s premier international commission, Krzysztof Wodiczko worked closely with members of Milan’s growing immigrant population to explore the complexities of life as a refugee on a continent that is increasingly hostile towards foreign newcomers, and to have their stories told in the open-air space of the park. The technologically pioneering installation, launched during Milan Photo Week, featured drones flying over the park, projecting both image and sound to audiences below. As the new technology of drones shifts from strictly military use to personal recreation, these hovering devices still evoke a sense of surveillance, intrusion, and fear.
For this live performance, Wodiczko conceived of a swarm of customized drones carrying LED screens and amplified sound, implicating the public in a series of intimate debates led by immigrant Milanesi. The eyes and voices of the airborne machines belonged to a cast of migrants ranging in immigration experience, national origin, and age. Each drone transformed into an individual, hovering above their new community and speaking their truths while remaining anonymous. The title Loro, meaning “Them,” makes evident the feeling within marginalized people that they are not “one of us,” but rather “an Other,” or “one of them.” By making the discourse of the Loro public, the audience was rendered silent by technology amplifying the real stories of real people living within their community.
To produce this complex work, More Art engaged with Fondazione Casa della Carità, a social institution that provides housing, counseling, medical services, occupational mentorship, cultural initiatives, and legal aid programs to the homeless, Roma people, and immigrants living in informal settlements or irregular camps in the outskirts of Milan.
Loro (Them) and the accompanying public programs were produced in cooperation with The Adam Mickiewicz Institute and supported in part by nctm e l’arte, a project by Nctm Studio Legale, Galerie Lelong, Fondazione Stelline, and Università Cattolica, with the patronage of the City of Milan in partnership with Assessorato alla Cultura and Assessorato alle Politiche Sociali (Department of Culture and Department of Social Services), and generous individual donations. Loro (Them) was made possible through concept design and prototyping by Andy Trench of Vertspec and creative advisement by Nadav Assor. Technical support was provided by CINEFLY (Turin, Italy) and AVIOSONIC Space Tech.