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The mind-bending installation “trap of the truth” by Erwin Wurm debuts at Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

The Yorkshire Sculpture Park’s heritage landscape is occupied by 19 sculptures, many of which are brand-new or never-before-seen. Wurm’s Bags series features three sculptures that investigate consumer culture and status symbols. They include the five-meter-tall, pastel blue Big Step (2021), which is personified by long, elegant legs that appear to be walking purposefully and takes on the appearance of the Hermès Birkin bag, a contemporary symbol of prestige and wealth. The series is completed by Dance (2021) and Trip (2021), briefcases and suitcases with long, bouncy legs that convey human life within the landscape.

Big Kastenmann (2012), also known as the “big box man,” is five meters tall and has a large box for a torso. He wears a formal pink and grey suit jacket. His name means “big box man.” This was Wurm’s first major public artwork, and it was on display in 2012 outside The Standard Hotel in New York City. His 3.2-meter-tall bronze Balzac (2023) will be displayed interestingly – the grand human structure made by intricate layers of robes suggestive of old traditional sculpture and referring to Rodin’s figure of a similar name.

Wurm interprets popular Austrian dishes by drawing inspiration from the historical and cultural identity of his nation. The most well-known of these dishes is the gherkin, or pickled cucumber, with which he has long been fascinated. It is shown alongside the four-meter-tall bronze Der Gurk (2016), and three of Wurm’s Giants from the Abstract Sculptures series (2014–18) are anthropomorphized bronze sausages that are a reference to the Wiener hot dog, which is named after Vienna, the capital of Austria. Both foodstuffs offer contemporary interpretations of totems, idols, obelisks, and other ancient sculptural forms and lend themselves well to monumentalization as sculpture.

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