Erwin Wurm, sculptor from Austria. Photo © Michael Wurm
1.Tell us what you do and your beginnings.
My working field is in general sculpture. I ask myself questions about the notion of sculpture. Can a drawing, a photography, a performance, a text have the characteristics of a sculpture – meaning can they be sculptures? Since a longer time, I also try to ask questions about the sculptural qualities of issues – of our time and society.
At first, I tried to research the border between performance and sculpture and for example when an action becomes a sculpture and vice versa.
2.What does your work aim to say?
My work is a comment on our society. I use the angle of the absurd and paradox to address concerns in our world.
3.Where do you find inspiration for your art?
Inspiration comes from so many things as I’m working in my field since many years. A big part of my life is dedicated to my thinking about art, sculpture and our time, our societies and our world.
4.Could you give us some insight into your creative process?
The method to relate issues of our time to sculptural ones offers the possibility to ask questions and make statements on our world. For example, the fact that we gain and lose weight opens the way straight to sculptural issues. If we accept this we could be able to realize that we are participating on a sculptural process every day. And this means not only the change of mass but also the change of content!
5.What are your future projects?
My future projects are about distortion and dramatic change into a dystopian future. Our devastating form of living – as we do and did has to change dramatically. our entire way of thinking and being and misusing or entire world plus ourselves has to be questioned totally. Otherwise we and our world will be gone not so far from now!
Erwin Wurm (Bruck an der Mur, 1954) is an Austrian artist who studied at the Academy of Fine Arts and the Vienna School of Applied Arts. His works are subjects of daily use that are decontextualized and disfigured between the funny and the disturbing. During the late eighties, Wurm created “one minute sculptures” with which he questioned the very definition of sculpture and, for this reason, the artist decided to immortalize them only in photographs or videos. Among his most recent projects, Wurm has worked on a series of sculptures titled Fat Car: life-sized obese sculptures that appear similar to overfilled sacks; to create “fat” figures, he uses polyurethane foam and lacquered polystyrene.
In addition, the artist participated in “Via Veneto Contemporanea”, an open-air exhibition in the heart of Rome, Italy. Wurm’s works are part of prestigious collections around the world, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, the Walker Art Center, the Ludwig Museum, the St. Gallen Art Museum, the Musée d contemporary art of Lyon and the Center Pompidou. Erwin Wurm lives in Vienna and Limberg, Austria.