Erwin Wurm

Erwin Wurm, One Minute Sculptures, 1999
Erwin Wurm, One Minute Sculptures, 1999

Erwin Wurm’s (b. 1954, Bruck/Mur) performance sculptures arise from simple daily actions: trying on new clothing, driving by a billboard, or opening a box. Superficially minimalist in style, these works are actually more closely related to performance art in their impermanence and emphasis on action. In earlier pieces, Wurm folded jumpers and shirts in different ways to create different volumes. The performances began with clothing worn in dysfunctional ways to produce abstractions and new geometries. A jumper drawn over the entire form of a crouched figure, for example, produced a symmetrical cube.

At the Exchange Flags in Liverpool, Erwin Wurm displayed copies of drawings he made as instructions for one-minute performances. Each performance entailed everyday objects being used to complete an action, based solely on the criterion that the action was possible. For example, a minimum number of tennis balls were used to form a bed upon which participants could lie, supported only at the necessary points. The process was recorded on video, and was shown in the present installation beside the objects and drawings. The audience was encouraged to participate by following the instructions in the drawings and employing the materials that have been provided in the installation. A billboard was created in Liverpool displaying an example of these performances.

Erwin Wurm at Liverpool Biennial 1999

One Minute Sculptures, 1999
Courtesy of the artist and gallery Krinzinger, Vienna
Exhibited at Exchange Flags