Big Blue Bear Greets Incoming Freshmen

Welcome Brown University Class of 2020! Hope you like this blue bear because it’s going to haunt your dreams every single day until you head back out those Van Wickles, even if that takes you five years. “Untitled (Lamp/Bear)” is the title of this painted and lacquered cast bronze piece by Urs Fischer. I suppose it is meant to challenge our bourgeois sensibilities and if it’s got us talking it’s doing its job! Having said that . . . yech. Maybe it’s better at night. I will go back.

From the Brown Public Art website,

Urs Fischer’s work is rooted in playfulness, with an element of irreverence. Untitled (Lamp/Bear) is from a series of works that explore what the artist calls “the inner mechanics of duality.” He questions, “what happens when two specific objects meet in an imagined space.” The series includes a giant wooden chair straddling a cigarette package, an upended table balancing on a cigarette lighter, and in the sculpture at Brown, an inexpensive Bakelite desk lamp extending from the head of a teddy bear.  Audacious and humorous, the sculpture is a nostalgic and larger-than-life presence.

Attention students: This is not your “safe space.” I’m not sure how playful it is having a desk lamp shoved up your bum, but for me the most humorous part of the installation is the sign that reads, “Please do not climb on the sculpture.”

Personal injury lawyers might have another name for this work — “Untitled (Attractive Nuisance)”.

Lamp/Bear, Simmons Quad, enter through Memorial Arch on Thayer Street south of Waterman, (directions)


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