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Wien Mitte
Erwin Wurm
Abriss. Ein neuer Aufbruch

The naked man climbing out of a drum is not the philosopher Diogenes von Sinope but the Austrian actor Karl Merkatz, who has become almost inseparable from his own unmistakeable personification of a certain Viennese character in both theatre and film. Yet an actor with Merkatz’ talent can overshadow even such a stereotype, regardless of the extent to which his legendary interpretation has turned it into a national icon.




Wien Mitte Immobilien GmbH


July 2009

Print run: 


Concept and Photography:

Erwin Wurm

Casting and production:

Liquid Frontiers

In this scene from the series of “One Minute Sculptures” directed by the artist Erwin Wurm for the Wien Mitte real estate development, Karl Merkatz celebrates not only the beginning of the construction of the project but also the ceaseless creative energy and essential non-conformity which he shares with the radical philosophers of Antiquity.

Erwin Wurm (*1954)

The Austrian sculptor Erwin Wurm creates sculptures out of social situations and vice versa. With a fitting lack of respect and little hesitation about engaging with everyday and banal situations, Wurm knocks sculpture off its pedestal and drags it into real life. His “One Minute Sculptures” then freeze this real life for a moment in which those grotesque, absurd and bizarre aspects of life which are usually hidden from view can be “captured”. These “One Minute Sculptures” have become the artist’s highly successful international trademark – a success shown by, among other things, the number of imitations. This highly personal and highly flexible understanding of sculpture has made it possible for Erwin Wurm to make inroads into such theoretically alien worlds as fashion and advertising, worlds in which he is able to employ his unmistakable signature without losing his essential sense of ironic distance.