Inspired by Henry David Thoreau’s essay “Civil Disobedience” (1849), Wurm’s Big Disobedience, (2016) makes reference to an often explored theme: political and social correctness. Related in its use of the human form and apparel, Half Big Suit (2016) stems from an earlier series, Cut, that investigates the fragmented body. Fixed in an awkward position, with one leg extended in the air, the static sculpture conveys a sense of distress experienced while undergoing a durational performance or holding a lengthy pose. In their focus on the body and its motions, these works relate to Wurm’s famous One Minute Sculptures series (XXXX), in which viewers enact simple yet absurd poses for one minute at a time.
The relationship between the organic transformation of the body through biological factors and the intentional moulding of objects in Wurm’s work is illustrated in his architectural structure, Flat Iron (2016). Here the artist’s distorted recreation of New York’s iconic Flatiron Building is demonstrated in a melting structure, demonstrating further how the manipulation of volume, scale, form and materiality, can signal transformation in both human and non-human form.
Inspired by Wurm’s performative practice, the Gallery invited Mike Bourscheid, an artist who works between Luxembourg and Vancouver, to develop a series of performative interventions at Offsite: Erwin Wurm.