Archive: Art in Vienna
Politically incorrect on purpose – Humans in awkward poses

Politically incorrect on purpose – Humans in awkward poses

Erwin Wurm [Austria] (b 1954) _ _Pee on someone's rug_, 2003. Instructions on how to be politically incorrect. c-print (126 x 160 cm). Cropped

Erwin Wurm - Instructions on how to be politically incorrect, Spit in Someone's Soup, 2003
Erwin Wurm – Instructions on how to be politically incorrect, Spit in Someone’s Soup, 2003

Introduction

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.

Erwin Wurm - Instructions on how to be politically incorrect, Inspection, 2002, C-print, 126 x 184-cm, Foto Erwin Wurm, VG Bild-Kunst Bonn
Erwin Wurm – Instructions on how to be politically incorrect, Inspection, 2002, C-print, 126 x 184-cm
©VG Bild-Kunst Bonn

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What does a museum look like behind the scenes?

What does a museum look like behind the scenes?

Klaus Pichler - Shark at the Museum of Natural History, Vienna, 2010, from Skeletons in the Closet
Klaus Pichler – Shark at the Museum of Natural History, Vienna, 2010, from Skeletons in the Closet

“What does a museum look like behind the scenes?” was the question Austrian photographer Klaus Pichler found himself asking after seeing the unusual sight of museum exhibits in storage.

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See how Peter Kogler’s hypnotic installations transform rooms

See how Peter Kogler’s hypnotic installations transform rooms

Peter Kogler - Dimensions, 2011
Peter KoglerDimensions, 2011

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.

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Large scale works by Jeff Koons, Cy Twombly and others

Large scale works by Jeff Koons, Cy Twombly and others

Cy Twombly - Bacchus, 2010-11, Vienna State Opera, Vienna, Austria
Cy TwomblyBacchus, 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.

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Why does Lara Almarcegui create massive piles of rubble?

Why does Lara Almarcegui create massive piles of rubble?

's Main Hall, 2010, Installation View, Secession, Vienna, Austria
Lara AlmarceguiConstruction 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.

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.

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Erwin Wurm’s One Minute Sculptures are refreshing

Erwin Wurm’s One Minute Sculptures are refreshing

erwin-wurm-one-minute-sculptures-1

erwin-wurm-one-minute-sculptures-1
Erwin WurmOne Minute Sculpture, Freud’s rectification (Philosophy digestion)

Since the late 1990s Austrian artist, Erwin Wurm is working on his on-going One Minute Sculpture series in which he or others pose with everyday objects, often within an art space.

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Out of this world: Volcanic ash pyramids fill up museums

Out of this world: Volcanic ash pyramids fill up museums

Magdalena Jetelová - Domestication of Pyramids - Museum of Applied Arts Vienna
Magdalena JetelováDomestication of Pyramids, Museum of Applied Arts Vienna, Austria

Domestication of Pyramids by Magdalena Jetelová are pyramid-sculptures, covered by volcanic ashes, and have been shown at the Museum of Applied Arts / Vienna, Martin-Gropius-Bau / Berlin, National Museum of Contemporary Art / Warsaw, Irish Museum of Modern Art / Dublin, Forum Kunst Rottweil and other art spaces.

The Viennese Museum of Applied Arts is a typical example of Ringstrasse architecture: an elegant, richly ornamented Neo-Renaissance building with an inner peristyle hall and galleries. Upon entering the building, the visitor finds himself/herself, surprisingly, in a darkened, curved space: soon he/she discovers that he/she is standing under large, slanted scaffolding. He/she instinctively walks to the right, where there is a way out. When he/she returns to the daylight, he/she finds himself/herself in the Museum hall, standing next to a thirteen-meter high tilted wall covered in red silica sand. The wall slices the inner space of the Museum diagonally across two floors, slashing razor-like through pillars and balustrades up to the ceiling. The wall, tilted at a 45° angle and with a base thirty-five meters long, is a fragment of one side of a pyramid which could continue in the exterior of the Museum building. A space on a scale which greatly exceeds the size of the host building is inserted into the museum’s interior. Despite its dimensions, it is only a fragment of a whole known to us, which in an imaginary way continues beyond the borders of the Museum building and which we can mentally reconstruct as a pyramid.

Domestication primarily stems from the fact that we can already imagine it based on the fragment we have at our disposal because we have become well acquainted with its form in our minds. On the entirely specific level, domestication—taming—can be seen in the possibility of walking around the pyramid from all sides, from the inside as well as from the outside; taking a look at its base from the gallery above, experiencing it from a perspective that people were to be denied. This, however, does not change anything about the fact that the essence of the form is mental, not physical. The entire pyramid is only realized through thought.

The intersection of the eastern archetypal monument—the pyramid—and its absolute geometry with‘humanized’ western architecture, its small details and scale, raises questions concerning the nature of our culture, whereby our stable coordinates which anchor us in the world become relative. Other pyramids have been constructed at various locations in Europe, but only in Vienna is the pyramid physically accessible both from the inside and outside; in Warsaw and Berlin the surface of the structure can be observed from the outside, which, because it is covered with volcanic ashes, evokes the feeling of a full compact mass, poured into the form of a heap. The confrontation of the eastern monument and European cultural history takes place differently each time, and yet on the same principle. The domestication of absolute architecture takes place in our minds.

Magdalena Jetelová - Domestication of Pyramids - Museum of Applied Arts Vienna
Magdalena JetelováDomestication of Pyramids, Museum of Applied Arts Vienna, Austria

Magdalena Jetelová - Domestication of Pyramids - Museum of Applied Arts Vienna
Magdalena JetelováDomestication of Pyramids, Museum of Applied Arts Vienna, Austria

Magdalena Jetelová - Domestication of Pyramids
Magdalena JetelováDomestication of Pyramids

Magdalena Jetelová - Domestication of Pyramids
Magdalena JetelováDomestication of Pyramids

Magdalena Jetelová - Domestication of Pyramids
Magdalena JetelováDomestication of Pyramids

Magdalena Jetelová - Domestication of Pyramids
Magdalena JetelováDomestication of Pyramids, Forumkunst Rottweil, Rottweil, Germany

Magdalena Jetelová - Domestication of Pyramids
Magdalena JetelováDomestication of Pyramids


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