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.
If you are a fan of Pieter Hugo, the chances are that you recognize his award-winning work, including the acclaimed 2007 series The Hyena and the Other Men. He’s also known for photographing men harvesting honey in a Ghanaian forest, teenage laborers working at an electronic dumpsite just outside of Accra, and weary diamond miners in a rusty Zimbabwean border town, just to name a few of his series.
In one of his recent works, cleverly dubbed “1994,” the iconic photographer takes us on a journey to post-apartheid South Africa and post-genocide Rwanda in the eyes of children. It’s so named after the latter unfortunate episode that saw the Rwandan ethnic group of Tutsis nearly wiped out of the face of the planet.
After being exposed to numerous renderings and 3d models of Dubailand, a new place near Dubai, photographer Aleix Plademunt decided to visit the place. Dubailand was compiled over a 3-month period that saw Aleix Pledemunt travel across the rich oasis of Dubai, which is a city that has come to be known for its opulent lifestyles and luxurious taste. The series acquired its name from the 107 square mile theme park that is currently being constructed in the depths of the desert. The end result of this photography series was a representation of man-made Dubai surrounded by blue skies and characteristic white desert sand.
Between 1990 and 1992, photographer Philip-Lorca diCorcia made five trips to Los Angeles to take photos of male prostitutes in Hollywood. In LA’s “Boystown”, a place in West Hollywood, diCorcia approached his subjects. Instead of having sexual activities, diCorcia offered to pay after getting photographs of them.
Noh Suntag – Red House I. North Korea in North Korea, 2005
About Noh Suntag
Noh Suntag has made it his mission to provide the world glimpses of social, historical and political developments of North Korea, which many people do not get to see. Noh produces photographs that record real-life situations that are directly linked to the division of Korea. Some of his works were in particular created to show how deeply the division between the North and South has permeated the daily lives of the Korean citizenry, as well as how the division has distorted the proper functioning of society.
Steve McCurry is no stranger to success having built a name for himself as one of the world’s most respected photographers. He has won numerous international awards as well as acclaim for his consistent and impactful repertoire and has sold books in the millions across the world. In particular, some of his most talked about works are his Monsoon photographs.