As if leaving home behind and transitioning to college life didn’t already precipitate a strange haze of nostalgia or create plenty of emotional trauma, students beginning their U. experience in September will be greeted by a most hideous addition to campus: Urs Fischer’s “Untitled (Lamp/Bear),” the freakish baby-blue bear-lamp sculpture that will make our home its home for the next FIVE YEARS.
FIVE. YEARS. The absurd pustule of embarrassment will crowd Ruth Simmons for the entirety of 2020’s time at Brown. That graduating class will know nothing of the Campus Dances free from lurking childhood stuffed animals, nor will they be able to experience the feel-good vibes of Dave Binder’s annual Spring Weekend Sunday performance without the sinister presence of a looming azure bruin. But here’s the thing, the bear is not actually ugly enough. Brown students have embraced thrift-store diamonds in the rough and the occasional ugly holiday sweater. But an informal poll of students recently smoking on Ruth Simmons pegs the bear at a 7.2/10 on the ugly scale, falling way short of the 9/10 ugly rating that Brown students need to embrace it (ironically, of course).
One installment of a three-part series, the bear itself stands 23 feet tall and amounts to a $10 million donation. Given the state of numerous buildings across campus (looking at you: Grad Center, Morriss-Champlin, Wilson Hall), the bear mockingly recalls the endless possibilities of what could have been. They say you should watch your investments closely, so just in case it becomes possessed and lumbers away to plague another Ivy League institution, the bear is constantly monitored by a live-feed video stream.
Despite the pacifying nature of summer vacation, students have already begun to take sides on the issue. Some wonder if a hippie cult following will develop, claiming the installation as supreme leader. Others, who see the bear as an abomination, have rightfully expressed the extent of their outrage through the creation of the Facebook page “Brown Students Against the Blue Blight.” Summoning the wit and stylistic flair that produced “only you can prevent forest fires,” Smokey The Bear ’17 said of the installation, “for real — it’s hideous.”