Whether making work with moldy bread, melting wax, or Froot Loops screenprinted on massive mirrored boxes, Urs Fischer probes the inner workings of embodied experience and cultural production—reframing both process art and kitsch in turn. On the occasion of the artist’s first major solo exhibition in the US, currently on view at the New Museum in New York (through January 31, 2010), Artforum’s Michelle Kuo explores Fischer’s feverish range of materials and means.

Urs Fischer, Untitled, 2003, nylon filament, banana, theater spotlight, dimensions variable.

SITTING IN THE KITCHEN IN URS FISCHER’S STUDIO, you hardly notice the mirrors. Yet there they are, panels upon panels of them lining the walls, casting an auratic glow onto the counters and quietly reflecting boxes of pasta and bowls of fruit, the remains of crushed walnuts or Vietnamese noodles from lunch. Mirrors are usually not a good idea for kitchens, amplifying every crumb and smear, but Fischer doesn’t mind, privileging instead the effect of visual extension: The area opens seamlessly onto the yawning Brooklyn loft, so standing at the stove you would not only see your torso reflected but also glimpse the vast work space behind you. The kitchen, in fact, seems to be the locus of the artist’s studio. Not because it is the center of activity (although it often is), but because it is the point at which the visceral and the virtual are most potently locked. Matter is molded,

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