One minute sculptures...


"To activate the One minute Sculptures you are asked to pose with the objects for one minute, following the artist's instructions, detailed in the furniture."

12/06/17 - "Ethics demonstrated in geometrical order" is an original exhibition by Erwin Wurm (1954, Austria) at the Lehmann Maupin Gallery, in New York, where several objects with cutouts encourage visitors to "activate" the sculptures. Although they were made some 20 years ago, we still feel insecure when invited to participate. The exhibition displays then a series of living sculptures as result of very entertaining instructions.

Head TV - One minute sculpture, by Erwin Wurm
Instruction drawing, Danish cabinet and realized by public Measures: 77.5 x 170.2 x 47 cm (sculpture) / 10.2 x 22.9 x 61 cm (stand) - Overall dimensions variable, signed, dated and titled on sculpture.
Wurm redefined sculpture, but also the role and interaction of the visitors with a medium proposed to them. Since he began with these pieces, the premise remained unchanging: for each work, the artist draws or writes the instructions for the participants to pose in a certain way with the object. The participant manipulates his/her own body to achieve the result and must held the pose only for a minute (enough time for a selfie). Wurm is very strict with the poses to be done, because the sculptures are activated only if they are done correctly. The objects used in the exhibition are mostly furniture from the 50s.

One minute sculpture, by Erwin Wurm
Aalto Paimio lounge chair, instruction drawing and realized by public overall / Dimensions variable - Titled on sculpture
What do we experiment? We are afraid of being ridiculous and insecure, but we also feel doubts about the propriety of touching an artwork. All these feelings agree with the original aim of the artist: he wants us to feel uncomfortable. These One minute sculptures offer a moment of inner introspection (what am I doing?) to transform us in thinking sculptures. With them, Wurm offers a subtle critique to the contemporary cultural society: social pressures make us act unlike our own ideals.

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Liliana Wrobel

Production & Translation

Carla Mitrani