One Minute Sculptures


“I am interested in the everyday life. All the materials that surrounded me could be useful, as well as the objects, topics involved in contemporary society. My work speaks about the whole entity of a human being: the physical, the spiritual, the psychological and the political.” – Erwin Wurm

Erwin Wurm (age 60) is an Austrian artist has a history of using whatever objects and materials are at hand for making One Minute Sculptures.

In the early days he could not afford to buy materials for his sculptures, so he started to use every day’s materials. His first sculptural works were made of wood, because he lived above a wood shop, and the next works were made using cans and buckets form nearby factory that produced them.

Erwin Wurm
Erwin Wurm, One Minute Sculptures at Open Eye Gallery, 2012

One Minute Sculptures series, begun in the late 1990s, in which the works themselves have been created on the spot using whatever objects, participants, and backgrounds were available.


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The one minute sculptures are populated by ordinary people and everyday objects, declare the fun, playfulness and spontaneity that must have gone into the making of each picture. The interesting thing is that, in beside this, there remain darker connotations of assault, warfare, and ritual violence. Perhaps it is the co-existence of the imaginative, child-like activity alongside those more unsavoury allusions that makes them so unusual and engaging.

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Making one minute sculptress includes Wurm’s instructions for his audience are written by hand in a cartoon-like style. Either Wurm himself or a volunteer follow the instructions for the sculpture, which is meant to put the body in an absurd and ridiculous-looking relationship with everyday objects. Whoever chooses to do one of Wurm’s One Minute Sculptures holds the pose for a minute, or the time it takes to capture the scene photographically. These positions are often difficult to stay in, although a minute is very short, but a minute for a One Minute Sculpture can feel like an eternity.

 Wurm’s instructions for One Minute Sculpture
Wurm’s instructions for One Minute Sculpture



One minute sculptures

The Wurm’s work has been inspiration for making this music video form Red Hot Chili Peppers from 2003 for song “Can’t Stop”. Watch it and enjoy…

So what do you think, can you make One Minute Sculpture? Go ahead, try it…