Erwin Wurm is certainly one of Austria’s and the world’s most recognizable artists. Using social taboos and absurd scenarios to create his thought-provoking work, Wurm’s art installations have broken boundaries and changed the way that people approach and view art in a contemporary society.
Through his installations, Wurm comments on modern society and critiques it through his curious point of view of the world that has catapulted him to global fame and success. Throughout his career, Wurm’s transient performative one minute sculptures which he often photographs before exhibiting have combined both humor and basic criticisms, which has paved the way for innumerable explanations and interpretations from audiences.
How to be politically incorrect
“How to be Politically Incorrect” consists of a strange series of photos depicting human beings in several awkward situations that would otherwise be deemed politically incorrect in any part of the world. The series of photos was created between the years 2002 and 2003.
“Instructions on how to be politically incorrect” was comprised of several inappropriate scenarios that should never happen in real life such as a woman peeing on a rug, as well as a scene containing a man whose head is stuck beneath a woman’s blouse. Comic and absurd, each of these scenarios was created to question political and social standards as human beings understand them today.
For years, Wurm has been creating facetious skits such as these that challenge the rules of stability and societal ethics. Using photographs, performances, installations and videos, each of these works is created with the subjects or the actors posed in singular compromising situations. The subjects or mannequins in the series were made with simplicity in mind so that they could come as close to resembling real human beings as possible.
In the series, the subjects and the various scenes were designed to represent events that take place in daily life and Wurm emphasized their ridiculous nature to drive the point home. By relying on absurdities to make up his work, Erwin forces the viewer to confront and challenge expected behavioral conventions.
About Erwin Wurm
Throughout his career, Erwin has been creating art that both entertains and irritates at the same time- this has become his standard and style. When he creates art, Erwin strives to continually investigate the limits of human behavior by challenging the legitimacy of the norms and rules established by society.
Born in Austria in 1954 in Bruck an der Mur, Austria, Erwin has gained fame for his figures and sculptures which have been making rounds in biennials and galleries since the 80s. Today, he lives and works in Vienna and he has been the subject of numerous museum exhibitions including the National Gallery of Victoria, the National Museum of Art in Osaka, and many more.
Peter Kogler – Dimensions, 2011
Peter Kogler’s Rooms
Peter Kogler is a renowned artist from Austria that currently works and lives in Vienna. Kogler is best known for his different psychedelic room installations. Through his paintwork and his intricate projections, he transforms ordinary looking rooms and spaces such as lobbies, galleries, and transit centers by making them look twisted, warped or distorted, which in turn has a psychedelic effect for the public.
Kogler’s room installations explore vital concepts in his art such as modularity and repetition. The rooms alter one’s perception of architecture, which serves as the primary medium for his art. Aside from his dizzying rooms, Kogler is also an important performance, film and video artist as well as a sculptor.
Cy Twombly – Bacchus, Eiserner Vorhang (Iron Curtain) 2010-11, Vienna State Opera, Vienna, Austria
Safety Curtain is an on-going exhibition series taking place in the Vienna State Opera, Austria. The exhibition transforms the safety curtain into a temporary show for contemporary artists every year. The Vienna Opera has been hosting art shows since 1869 and tries to find new and interesting ways to address viewers as well as attract new audiences. However, it is also well known for being a world-class destination for global opera lovers as well as Renaissance Revival architecture.
For now 20 seasons, the Vienna Opera’s safety curtain has included art that has been specifically made for the opera house. The Safety curtain has featured a list of impressive artists such as John Baldessari, Cy Twombly, Tacita Dean, Matthew Barney, Jeff Koons, David Hockney, and Franz West just to mention a few of the famous names.
Lara Almarcegui – Construction Rubble of Secession’s Main Hall, 2010, Installation View, Secession, Vienna, Austria
Spanish born Lara Almarcegui who currently lives in Rotterdam has always had a deep curiosity for examining processes of contemporary transformation that are brought about by the social, political and economic transformations in society. Since the early 1990s, Lara has examined urban areas that most artists choose not focus on such as rubble from construction materials and stuff from wastelands. Lara carefully catalogs and highlights each location’s inclination towards entropy or lack of order and predictability.
The meaning of her works
Her projects vary based on the intention of the message. For instance, she developed a guide to the wastelands in Amsterdam consisting of materials used to establish the wasteland in its raw form. Lara has managed to consolidate a reputation for herself as a respectable and revered artist in the global artist realm. In 2013, her work allowed her to act as Spain’s only representative in the 55th Venice Biennial.
About Jaume Plensa’s sculptures
Jaume Plensais arguably one of the top sculptors today. He is largely known for creating huge-sized ethereal sculptures and has also worked with different other types of contemporary art media, including from acoustic installations to video projections.
Erwin Wurm – One Minute Sculpture, Freud’s rectification (Philosophy digestion)