Málaga, Spain – “Erwin Wurm: Am I a House?” at Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga, through November 11th, 2012

November 5th, 2012

Erwin Wurm, Am I a House? at CAC Malaga
The artist – Erwin Wurm, Am I a House? at CAC Málaga

The first major exhibition in Spain of the work of Austrian artist Erwin Wurm is now on view at El Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga. The exhibition consists of video, sculpture and large-scale installation, including quotidian objects and buildings deformed so extremely that they remain almost unrecognizable. Wurm’s work addresses media saturation in contemporary society and exaggerated values, as well as political scandals and human rights.

Erwin Wurm, Am I a House? at CAC Malaga
Erwin Wurm, Am I a House? at CAC Málaga

Wurm became known in the late ’80s for his One Minute Sculpture, in which visitors to the exhibition would follow a written script and diagrams to convert themselves into sculptures that could then be recorded or photographed. he is known for an ironic viewpoint and his ability to transform language and code into symbols of the familiar and everyday.

Erwin Wurm, Am I a House? at CAC Malaga
Erwin Wurm, Am I a House? at CAC Málaga

This exhibition revisits consistent themes in the artist’s oeuvre: in the installation The Narrow House, 2010, the viewer is forced to reflect on invasion and personal space by way of the distorted version of the house in which Wurm himself lived with his parents. In the video, Am I a House?, 2005, he integrates the series Fat of 2001-2005, transmitting a sensation of existential crisis when the protagonist house asks, “Am I a house and a work of art / or am I just a work of art / but that would mean I am without a home”. Further, both can be considered a metaphor of our consistent narcissism and obsession with appearance.

Erwin Wurm, Am I a House? at CAC Malaga
Erwin Wurm, Am I a House? at CAC Málaga

Erwin Wurm, Am I a House? at CAC Malaga
Erwin Wurm, Am I a House? at CAC Málaga

The installations contain basic domestic components that morph into something else — e.g. a cabinet that turns into a table or a chair in sculptural form, a process that terminates only when one uses the object or sits in the furniture. They upend the very idea of an intrinsic order andthe nature of an artwork versus an object by what defines it and constitutes its being.

Erwin Wurm, Am I a House? at CAC Malaga
Erwin Wurm, Am I a House? at CAC Málaga

Included in the exhibition are sculptures based on “anonymous” buildings, seen in the video BEAT AND THREAT (2012), where the buildings are no longer identifiable.

Erwin Wurm, Am I a House? at CAC Malaga
Erwin Wurm, Am I a House? at CAC Málaga

The viewer is presented with an encompassing installation where something is amiss with the primordial sense of self, creating an unsettling feeling without pinpointing what exactly may be the cause – or effect.

-V. Artizmovich

All images courtesy The CAC Málaga

Links:
[CAC Málaga]
[Erwin Wurm]
El Mundo: [“Major Autumn exhibitions“]
Málaga Hoy: [“Are there limits to metaphor?“]