Play Digest: Agustina Woodgate and Erwin Wurm

Hot dogs and teddy bears—more serious light-heartedness from our final two Playtime artists.

Agustina Woodgate makes no secret of the origin material of her “rugs,” but it may take a few moments among them to decipher, so complex and consistent are the patterning and craft.

The cast-off plush toys she uses for her rug works, she believes, “represent memories of their owner[s].” While people have distinct and deep connections to stuffed animals form their childhoods, Woodgate looks to “deliver an alternative memory object that displays and references personal histories.” (The “play” aspect in Woodgate’s work is not limited to stuffed animals alone. In 2013, she painted a giant hopscotch board in Miami and made building blocks from human hair.)

As an immigrant to Miami, much of Woodgate’s work is by definition political. Her most recent endeavor is an online radio station dedicated to an idea she refers to as “techno-immigrants”—those who are connected by technology to what facilitates their moves, to their families back home, to the networks that keep them stable and able.

Erwin Wurm, known for the One-Minute Sculptures that so captured visitors’ imaginations at Playtime this winter, says: “My work speaks about the whole entity of a human being: the physical, the spiritual, the psychological and the political,” which can easily be seen in the interactions people have with the works, which he has been staging for more than twenty years.

Wurm is taking the show on the road this summer—or at least as far as New York’s stunning Brooklyn Bridge Park—where his work Curry Bus will be serving New Yorker’s and tourists alike free hot dogs from a mustard-yellow, vaguely hot dog bun-shaped vehicle. Don’t like hot dogs? If you’re in South Korea, the Dumpling Car will be present at a large retrospective this spring.


(Image credit: Courtesy of Spinello Projects, photo by Joshua Aronson.)

Fake Fur: An Essay

Writer and curator Sarah Archer talks teddy bears, "Stuffed animals are cozy sculptures or 3D cartoon characters invested with deep meaning that ordinary people can own."