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For two weeks only, the Melbourne International Arts Festival and Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces presented the work of renowned Austrian sculptor Erwin Wurm as part of the 2003 Melbourne International Arts Festival’s Visual Arts Program. Wurm’s series of One Minute Sculptures utilized the body to play with our notion of what sculpture might be. Wurm’s series of One Minute Sculptures was a collection of photographs and situations of men and women choreographed into absurd, whimsical and often dangerous positions with inanimate objects. A leading figure in the international art world, Erwin Wurm lives and works in Vienna. His central concern has been with innovations in sculpture, conceiving the act of sculpture itself as sudden and momentary. The inspiration for his drawings, video art, installations and photography has come from our relationship with everyday objects such as bicycles, brooms, vegetables, balls and chairs.

For seven years, Wurm had been creating a complex series of videos, photographs and performance works in which a variety of simple, yet bizarre actions had been depicted. Collectively titled One Minute Sculptures, the works showed the artist or other performers carrying out peculiar feats in unusual settings. In one, for example, a person would dive head first into a crate with their legs flailing jack-in-the-box style; in another, someone would do push-ups on four teacups; while in yet another, a regular-looking man in a suit would stand with two strands of asparagus stuck up his nose. For these temporary, grotesquely comic creations Wurm invited the spectator to become a sculpture. The sculptures being dubbed 'one minute' because of their precarious nature, as they are likely to collapse within that time-span. Both comic and unnerving, the work of Erwin Wurm in these One Minute Sculptures has intrigued and inspired. 

Presented by the Melbourne International Arts Festival and Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces