(Mostly about art, but there’s some language in there.)

In the most recent Details magazine (April 2013), a piece on artist Urs Fischer, on the occasion of a retrospective exhibition at MOCA in Los Angeles, opening April 21. Among the three “greatest hits” listed on p. 62 is the 2009 piece Noisette:

The Details text:

This wagging tongue – which protruded from a glory-hole-like opening in a gallery wall and was activated by a motion detector – was the sleeper of Fischer’s popular solo show at New York’s New Museum.

Apparently the concept of a glory hole has made its way into the larger culture.

On the term, see my posting on it (with a link to a posting on AZBlogX); the history of the term in the sexual sense is unclear.

Now, noisette ‘hazelnut’. OED3 (Dec. 2003) has a metaphorical extension of the word:

A small round piece of meat; esp. a cut of lamb or mutton taken from the rib or loin. Usu. in pl. [cites in English from 1891 on]

That’s presumably the sense alluded to in the title of Fischer’s work. The tongue as a piece of meat.

Finally, Fischer, an artistic bad boy. From Wikipedia:

Urs Fischer (born 1973) is a Swiss contemporary artist living in New York.

Born in 1973, Urs Fischer began his career in Switzerland where he studied photography at the Schule fur Gestaltung, Zurich. He moved to Amsterdam in 1993 and had his first solo show at a gallery in Zurich, in 1996. Fischers subversive approach to art is often considered to be influenced by anti-art movements like Neo-Dada, Lost Art or the Situationist International. Since Fischer began showing his work, in the mid-nineteen-nineties, in Europe, he has produced an enormous number of objects, drawings, collages, and room-size installations.

In Untitled (Bread House) (2004-1005), Fischer constructed a Swiss style chalet entirely out of loaves of bread. His Bad Timing, Lamb Chop! (2004-2005), displays a giant wooden chair straddling a half empty packet of cigarettes. Between 2005 and 2006, he created Untitled (Lamp/Bear), an edition of three 23-foot-tall, 20-ton, fluorescent-yellow bronze bears with generic Bakelite lamps springing out of their heads; in 2011, one of the pieces was displayed for five months at Seagram Building’s plaza before being auctioned at Christie’s. For his 2007 show at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, Fischer excavated the gallery’s main room, bringing in contractors to dig an eight-foot hole where the floor had been, and calling the result You. In Death of a Moment (2007), two entire walls are equipped with floor-to-ceiling mirrors and set in motion by a hydraulic system, to create the surreal effect of a room in flux, morphing in shape and size.

The Details piece shows the jack-hammered crater of You and one of the big bronze bears, and adds a photo of Fischer’s 2012 Burning Man: a life-sized replica of Fischer in wax, turned into a giant candle. Rachel Wolff characterizes Fischer’s work as “an in-your-face brand of Dadaist Pop Art that is designed to catch viewers off-guard”.



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