Erwin Wurm: Fat Survival
Edited by Peter Weibel. Essays by Peter Weiermair, Régis Durand and Christa Steinle, Maia Damianovic and Christine Marcel.
Erwin Wurm is a sculptor who does not mold clay, chisel stone, or carve wood. Instead, he provides objects such as pullovers, brooms, and boxes to spectators who are then meant to do something with these objects. The resulting situations, in which a person pulls on a pullover, or balances a broom, or puts a box over her head, are grotesque, unstable, and very temporary, and all that remains of them afterwards are photographs and videos of their short life. In dynamic works such as these, which Wurm collectively titles "One Minute Sculptures," the very concept of sculpture is challenged and expanded, continuing a line of inquiry begun with Marcel Duchamp's ready-mades and furthered by Bruce Nauman and Gilbert & George's performative sculpture works. Wurm is similarly concerned with reinvigorating the static, unchanging art object by introducing ideas of process, action, and the living body, but he adds an element of time to the mixture, insisting on spontaneity, brevity, and endless permutations. Fat Survival provides a broad survey of Wurm's oeuvre from the early 1990s to the present.