Image: Erwin Wurm
Museum Exhibitions

Erwin Wurm The artist begging for mercy

2 November 2022—29 January 2023
Bratislava City Gallery

Erwin Wurm, an Austrian multimedia artist, presents an exhibition in the Bratislava City Gallery, the focus of which is his most extensive and world-famous One Minute Sculptures series. Today is a time of crossing borders in all directions in art, but Wurm managed to do something unique – a strong artistic gesture that can appeal to a wide audience to the extent that it sometimes even penetrates the world of pop culture. Thus it co-creates the visual horizon of our civilization.

Erwin Wurm started from a conceptual exploration of sculpture, which expanded in several directions in his artistic approach. Most often, there was a penetration, a fusion of sculpture and performative art – he himself uses the term performative sculpture. This includes his largest ongoing series One minute sculpture. Performative sculpture requires some kind of record, and photography is best suited for this purpose. Photographs are a record of performances, but they are a momentary materialization of living sculptures – that is, people with occasional props that change from project to project and always create new meaningful configurations. A peculiar version of endurance art is actually emerging. According to the instructions, drawn and or written instructions, people become part of the game, which for a short time, one minute, fully occupies them and at the same time entertains them and the people around them. It would seem that after the artist has given out the tasks, he can have fun too. But appearances are deceiving – he himself is not exempt from this process, and even sometimes it is him, with his mouth gagged, who begs for mercy. Only when viewed from a distance do these momentary living sculptures create a disturbing image of contemporary civilization – the interaction of people and things from their immediate surroundings, which, however, are not available, are not fully in their power and cease to control them, or are able to handle them for one minute.

Atmospheric image Atmospheric image
Atmospheric image Atmospheric image
Atmospheric image Atmospheric image