Ship of fools (Just about virtues and vices in general) One Minute Sculpture, mixed media, instruction drawings, 245 × 206 × 492 cm, 2017.

One Minute Sculptures

Initiated at the end of the 1990s, the One Minute Sculptures are an expression of Erwin Wurm’s extensive method to demystify the classical notion of sculpture turned into a short living, performative experience. They are based on written instructions to be carried out by the audience, under a white base on which various everyday objects and utensils are placed and accompanied by a drawing explaining how the spectator’s body is supposed to interact with them to activate the work. By delegating part of the realization, Wurm thwarts the conventional notion of authorship, addressing a typology of simple and everyday gestures and common tasks to engage with participatory sculptures. The instructions lead to perform offbeat and awkward gestures acrobatic positions, gesticulating, contorted, or fighting against recalcitrant objects. Blurring the boundaries between performance, everyday life and the audience, such actions seem slightly foolish or absurd actions and question idleness, gratuitousness and unproductiveness in a world where performativity is the rule, time is disappearing and everything is short living. Once on the pedestal, reified as an unstable sculpture, the participant becomes an artwork for a minute. In the One Minute Sculptures, absurdity and paradoxes contradict the mainstream perception of our different social realities and their goal is a very serious one: to reinvent sculpture so that it can carry infinite potential through its physical and psychological malleability.