Krzysztof Wodiczko

Speaking Flame, Poland, 2005

Speaking Flame, 2005
VIDEO , 4:57 min.
VIDEO , 4:4 6min.

The movement of flames accompanies the testimonies of the speakers in the video work of Krzysztof Wodiczko.  Persons unseen, whose story is appalling. Equally appalling are the flames, rising and flickering with the lilt of speech and its volume.

The testimony of the victim image is that of a woman who, in childhood, lost her mother in the death camps. Despite the long years that have elapsed since, she still bears that sense of sorrow and apprehension. The voice of the aggressor brings the story of the commander of a US army unit in Iraq in the second Gulf war, when his men carried out all his orders and caused the deaths of innocents.

The connection between the two stories re-examines the question of trauma, and the justification of attributing it exclusively to the victim. Likewise, the work raises the question whether of it is possible to set side-by-side the torments of the aggressor and the trauma of the victim.