Design Knowledge Intermediary
An upturned freight truck by Mr. Wurm at the Venice Biennale.
“Fat House,” by the Austrian artist Erwin Wurm, last month in Vienna.
Mr. Wurm in Venice last month.
At Venice Biennale, Erwin Wurm Makes Sculpture " A Form of Action"

 VENICE — For the next five months, an orange freight truck will be standing on its head outside the Austrian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. Visitors are invited to go up the stairs to a small enclosure at the top, where labels on all sides read: “Stand quiet and look out over the Mediterranean Sea.”

The upturned vehicle is the brainchild of the artist Erwin Wurm of Austria, whose works are designed to elicit amusement but also straight-faced contemplation. 
The truck piece is “a memorial to think about what’s going on, and to focus on this dramatic situation of the Mediterranean Sea,” said Mr. Wurm, 62, in an interview at the pavilion. Casually attired in an orange windbreaker and laceless sneakers, the artist occasionally pulled on mirrored sunglasses.
Over the course of his career, Mr. Wurm has become known for sculptures that are to be interacted with, as performance works. His pieces, while ironic, are meant to convey a deeper metaphysical message.
“To see the sculpture on the basis of humor is legitimate and allowed, because this is what Erwin Wurm evokes in the first step of the experience,” his gallerist, Mr. Ropac, said in an interview. “But it is so much more about tragedy at the same time.”
Inside the pavilion, Mr. Wurm has recreated the body of work for which he is best known: “One Minute Sculptures,” first performed in 1997. Visitors are instructed — via sketches and inscriptions — to strike poses with the objects on site.