Erwin Wurm Is Always Blowing Everything Out of Proportion – By Peter Marino
“Erwin Wurm does not make art for the aloof aesthete. When encountering a sculpture by the 66-year-old Austrian artist, the “viewer” might be asked to put her head in a box, shove pencils up her nose, stand in a bucket with another bucket over her head, or lie horizontally counterbalanced on two stools; and while doing so, think about the philosopher Baruch Spinoza, or enjoy a minute of silence, or stare out at a distant sea. These and other instructional activities have been a part of Wurm’s ongoing series of “One Minute Sculptures”, developed in the late 1980s, in which, for the length of 60 seconds, the artwork and viewer meld – in a sense activating each other to create an original and paradoxical masterpiece.
Some might find these sculptural performances amusing, but just as many find them profound, meditative, or indicative of the lengths a human is willing to go to make a connection. Wurm’s penchant for the absurdist reimagining of the ordinary world extends to cars (sleek convertibles reconceived with obesity issues), houses (disturbingly skinny cottages, or the exact opposite, bursting with flab at all sides), food (jumbo pickles and hot dogs), and clothing (sweaters stretched over heads like unending sleeves or furniture dressed up in human garb). Wurm never seems to run out of ideas, and unsurprisingly, the recent lockdown, which he spent in his studio on the outskirts of Vienna, didn’t stop him from working on a number of new pieces for a raft of upcoming international shows.
This past fall, Wurm embarked on a special project exclusively for INTERVIEW, opening up his countryside estate to shoot a fashion story with both recent and archival artworks – and improvising a few new “One Minute Sculptures” in the process. To accompany the pictures, Wurm got on the horn with his old friend, the prolific architect Peter Marino, to talk about stretching a good idea to fit all shapes and sizes.” Photos by Erwin WURM and styling by Niki PAULS, both artists c/o SHOTVIEW Artists Management. GoSee the entire, beautiful conversation : interviewmagazine.com//erwin-wurm-the-artist-who-swallowed-the-world