ERWIN WURM | FAT HOUSE & FAT CAR

TOWADA ART CENTER, JAPAN
PERMANENT INSTALLATION SINCE 2010

Against the backdrop of a Western-style garden surrounded by fences, sit a big house and a big car, both looking disproportionately plump. Fat House and Fat Car focus on the association between technical and biological systems. Ordinarily, technology itself does not grow bigger or older like the human body. However, by endowing a house and car with the biological mechanism of growing fat, these pieces of art suggest the possibility of machines and buildings growing the way our body does.

What is the ideal body? It can be argued that our idea of the perfect body is a reflection of social convention. The same goes for symbols of power, wealth, and high status in society. Fat House and Fat Car are intended to make us ponder what determines our ideas of perfection and to imply that common social values that we never question, actually have very vague underpinnings.

Houses and cars are generally indispensable in our lives, and owning them also suggests a certain social status. Many of us would share the same idea of what constitutes a beautiful house or a cool car. Houses and cars reflect our society quite closely. But when they “betray” us by “growing fat,”what becomes of our notion of beauty? Fat House and Fat Car might at first glance look like humorous sculptures, but with them, the artist is seeking to cast doubt on our notions of common sense.

Fat House
2010
Iron, wood, polystyrene, aluminium,
electric installation, video on DVD,
video projection, speakers
1070×745×560 cm
 
Fat Car
2010
Styrofoam, polyester, car
231×510×141 cm

© Image Sadao Hotta