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Sounds of War

Wodiczko’s ICA installation, free tonight, projects chaos

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Installation view of ...OUT OF HERE: The Veterans Project. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Lelong, New York. Photo by John Kennard

With an eight-minute loop blaring around the clock, a dark room fills with a mélange of sounds: children giggling, a man singing in Arabic, helicopters hovering, guns firing, military leaders barking commands.

In a projected installation at the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, …OUT OF HERE: The Veterans Project, Polish artist Krzysztof Wodiczko transports visitors to wartime Iraq through the expressions of soldiers and civilians.

The sounds of war are unforgettable.

In addition to audio, images are shown within the installation’s highly elevated “windows.” Projected across three walls, glass shatters and smoke rises, while helicopters whizz by in silhouette.

For several years, Wodiczko, an MIT professor whose public-projection art has traveled worldwide, gathered anecdotes from medics, soldiers, and refugees affected by the war in Iraq. He is no stranger to conflict; born in the midst of the Warsaw ghetto uprising during World War II, Wodiczko lost many family members. He also served in the Polish Army.

As implied by its name, the installation re-creates the confinements of war while searching for an escape.

Admission is waived tonight, Thursday, March 11, from 5 to 9 p.m., a chance for all to view the installation for free.

…OUT OF HERE: The Veterans Project is at the Institute of Contemporary Art, 100 Northern Ave., Boston, through March 28, 2010. Admission is included with a museum ticket, $15 for adults, $10 for students and seniors, free for all on Thursdays from 5 to 9 p.m., free for youth 17 and under, and free for families on the last Saturday of the month. To get to the ICA, take the Red Line to South Station and transfer to the Silver Line waterfront bus. The ICA is short walk from both the World Trade Center and Courthouse stations. More information is available here.

Robin Berghaus can be reached at berghaus@bu.edu.

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