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//The Homeless Vehicle//

The Homeless Vehicle

Technique: object
Measurement: 145 × 96 × 320 cm
Date: 1988-1989/2013

The premise behind the work is that it is to provide the homeless with dignity, protection for their possessions and at least some privacy.

‘‘The proposed vehicle is designed to play a role in filling a dangerous gap in shelter needs. Rather than an ideal shelter, the vehicle is designed with attention to the specific limitations and compromises imposed by urban nomadic existence. Though it cannot appropriately be called a home, the vehicle is a potential means for ameliorating the conditions of life for people surviving under trying circumstances. The shelter vehicle attempts to function usefully in the context of New York City street life. Its point of departure is the strategy of survival that urban nomads presently utilize. Through discussions with scavengers, we developed a proposal for a vehicle to be used both for personal shelter and can and bottle transportation and storage. The signifying function of the vehicle is as important as its strictly utilitarian purpose. Building upon the existing image of the scavenger as an autonomous, active individual, the vehicle attempts to function as a visual analogue to everyday objects of consumption and merchandising (such as food vendor carts) and to create a bridge of empathy between homeless individuals and observers’.’

Excerpts from the brochure published by Krzysztof Wodiczko and David Lurie on the occasion of the exhibition of the Homeless Vehicle Project at the Clock Tower Gallery, PS1, New York City, in 1988