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  • Erwin Wurm

One Minute Sculptures at Venice Biennale 2017 - A Talk with Erwin Wurm

May 1, 2017
Studied Photography at IED in Milan, Italy. Passionate about art, frequent visitor of exhibitions, Widewalls photography specialist and Editorial Manager.

The year 2017 marks the 20th anniversary of Erwin Wurm’s One Minute Sculptures, an ongoing series of performative pieces which came to question the definition of sculpture and performance art alike. To commemorate such an important milestone, the Austrian artist will simply continue to make them, and will present them at various venues throughout Europe in the coming period: Kunsthaus Graz, 21er Haus Vienna, and the 57th Venice Biennale in Italy. At the Pavilion of Austria, he is sharing the exhibition space with another renowned artist, Brigitte Kowanz, but rather than hosting a group show, they will present two solo ones. With such a line-up, we have no doubt that their presentations will be one of the highlights of the Biennale at large.

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Erwin Wurm – Organisation of Love, 2007, From the series: One Minute Sculpture. Mixed media (instruction drawing, wiping cloths, pedestal), performed by the public. Photo: Wolfgang Guenzel, Courtesy: Studio Erwin Wurm, Städel Museum Frankfurt, Germany, 2014

Erwin Wurm – One Minute Sculptures

Perhaps best known for the One Minute Sculptures project, Erwin Wurm began creating them in 1997, as forms of spontaneous and temporary works of art which only remain memorized through photographs. In fact, photography can be considered only one of the mediums that the Austrian artist uses in his versatile practice, alongside drawing, video, installation and performance. The viewer becomes art itself, and following Wurm’s instructions that are written by hand, their bodies are juxtaposed with everyday objects in order to create absurd, almost ridiculous structures. The participants are required to hold their pose for one minute – hence the title of the series – which in this scenario can last an eternity.

The visitors of the 2017 Venice Biennale will now be able to experience Erwin Wurm’s One Minute Sculptures themselves, inside and outside the Austrian Pavilion. Of course, in his interview with Widewalls, the artist couldn’t reveal much about the project itself, but he did announce a few interesting details, which keep us intrigued and excited. But apart from this, we also talked about the beginnings of his long and fruitful career, the allure of the paradox, the way life is art and the utopian world we are living right now. Will society survive it all?

Find out in our podcast with Erwin Wurm below!

For more podcast interviews with leading art figures, make sure you follow Widewalls on SoundCloud!

Scroll down for more works by Erwin Wurm.

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Erwin Wurm – The Earth Measure, 2015, From the series: One Minute Sculpture. Mixed media (instruction drawing, plastic bottle, pedestal), performed by the public. Euclidean Exercises, IMA (Indianapolis Museum of Art), Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. Photo: Courtesy Studio Erwin Wurm
home of the world installation 2014
Erwin Wurm – Abbreviation, 2016, From the series: One Minute Sculpture. Mixed media (instruction drawing, drum sticks, pedestal), performed by the public. One Minute Sculptures, MAK Center for Art and Architecture, Schindler House, LA, USA. Photo: Courtesy Studio Erwin Wurm
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Erwin Wurm – Abbreviation, 2016, From the series: One Minute Sculpture. Mixed media (instruction drawing, drum sticks, pedestal), performed by the public. One Minute Sculptures, MAK Center for Art and Architecture, Schindler House, LA, USA. Photo: Courtesy Studio Erwin Wurm

Featured images: Erwin Wurm. Photo by Inge Prader; Erwin Wurm – Untitled (Trash), 2004, From the series: One Minute Sculpture. Mixed media (instruction drawing, garbage can, performer), performed by the public. Photo: Wolfgang Guenzel.