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Recent Works by the Internationally Renowned Austrian Artist Erwin Wurm at Essl Museum
A visitor looks underneath the exhibit "Polizeikappe" (police cap) by Austrian artist Erwin Wurm from 2010 at the Essl museum, in Klosterneuburg near Vienna, Austria, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2010. The exhibition called "Private Wurm" runs from Oct. 20, 2010 to Jan. 30, 2011. AP Photo/Ronald Zak.

VIENNA.- With the solo exhibition >PRIVATE WURM<, the Essl Museum presents very recent works by the internationally renowned Austrian artist Erwin Wurm.

In the works on show, Wurm takes an ironic and distanced look at changes in the perception of reality and identity triggered by the media.

A full-size house (16m long, 7m high), albeit compressed to a width of only about one metre, exemplifies the distortion to which images are subject. The house is modeled on the artist’s childhood home. Visitors will be able actually to enter the house and its individual rooms to feel the impact of its narrow confines. The dimensions of the furniture such as chairs, tables, plates and cutlery have been squeezed to the same extent as the house itself. The discrepancy between reality as it was and as we remember it, between the body and the world outside, becomes blatantly obvious.

This idea of distorted perception was also at the root of the over-size Viennese policeman’s cap, which was specifically created for the exhibition and will be shown together with other recent artwork. The visitors will have the opportunity to ‘take shelter’ under the cap with its diameter of more than one metre.

Erwin Wurm’s creations demonstrate how much the world as shown by the media lastingly changes our way of thinking, living and creating. Reality is continuously adapted to the way it is presented in the media. Visions of the future, films, science fiction and cartoons play an important role in the artist’s work. The narrow constrictions of the house presented here contain references to the installations of Bruce Naumans or the slapstick comedy of odd couples such as Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. Through his objects, the artist gives the viewers an immediate experience of reality as staged by the media.

About twenty years ago, the deconstruction of traditional elements of sculpture was the starting point of a series of works that made Wurm’s reputation.

Apart from objects, installations, drawings, videos and photographs, his well-known “One Minute Sculptures” complete the unique oeuvre of this artist.

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