12 January 1992

The Poliscar – not a tank but a war machine for people-without-apartments

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On Krzysztof Wodiczko and a ‘public intervention device’ designed in 1991 to address the condition of the homeless in New York City. As published in Krzysztof Wodiczko: instruments, projeccions, vehicles, Barcelona: Fundació Antoni Tàpies, 1992, pp. 259-285.

NEW YORK’S homeless people have had many solutions wished upon them, but it was not until Krzysztof Wodiczko came along last year that anyone appeared to offer these embattled outcasts a tank with which to defend themselves.

Wodiczko calls his invention a Poliscar in acid tribute to the democratic ideals of the ancient Greek city state, but it had no sooner gone on show at the Josh Baer Gallery last Autumn than the Village Voice sent an art critic along to set the record straight.

Noticing that it came to a sharp point, this observer declared herself in no doubt that the Poliscar had been ‘designed by, if not for, men’. She ran through a quick succession of metaphors, calling the Poliscar ‘a cop from another planet’, a ‘souped-up tin man’ and ‘a war toy for the homeless’, before settling for the idea that ‘this thing’ was ‘a robot with a tank-shaped body geared to survival in a police state’ or, more simply, a ‘mobile tank’…

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This entry was posted on Sunday, January 12th, 1992 at 1:00 pm and is filed under Art & its applications, Articles General, Articles in Books, War & peace. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.