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Erwin Wurm

Patrons - Odile Werner ; SPL Euralille
Mediator - Bruno Dupont
Supporters - SPL Euralille ; MAV ; Fondation de France
Place François Mitterrand, Lille, France, 2013

The commission

The centre for architecture and the city, at the initiative of Odile Werner, wanted to commission an artwork for François Mitterrand square in Lille. She was joined by the SPL Euralille development agency who were interested in new uses of this public space surrounded by the shopping centre, Matisse park and the railway station. The square is very grey and mineral with a lot of people going through but with few amenities and nowhere to rest or relax. The commission very soon identified the need for a food truck. This facility was to answer the need for conviviality and the need for quality fast food in the area. The art commission is to valorise la place by giving it a specific and unusual identity so that passers-by can identity it.

The artwork

Erwin Wurm questions the typical "chip van" in order to liberate it from its traditional rectangular shape and vulgar colours. He renders a tribute to the volume, the essential element of sculpture, and frees it from its original form. Liberated from its cage, the volume of the food truck gives the impression of being a soft, shapeless, melting mass. With this gesture, Erwin Wurm enables the food truck to become a sculptural work. An absurd tension is created between form and function. The downturn of the food truck contrasts with its commercial aims. However, this melting mass could also be a metaphor for temptation and greedy pleasures.

Erwin Wurm

Erwin Wurm is an Austrian sculptor who works on stereotypical objects and plays on the codes of sculpture. He became well-known with his one-minute sculptures, which put people in strange and absurd attitudes. His sculptures and actions result from the confrontation of several images or ideas and reveal a rather tongue in cheek and cynical view of consumer society or the art world (fat man, fat house, misconceivable, be nice to your curator...). He attempts to destroy shape, making objects literally melt. Immediately funny and accessible, these works are exhibited internationally.