In Écorché, a cutlery case is used as a metaphor for the human mouth, the site of language. In anatomical terms, an écorché is essentially a skin, flayed to reveal the contents beneath. When the cutlery case here is opened, equating a dissection, a somewhat forked, shiny tongue appears on the lid of the cabinet. A sheer layer of plexiglass sits below, etched with a quote by the philosopher Spinoza stating that we “govern nothing with more difficulty than our tongues”. The bottom of the drawer reveals charred layers of spoken phrases, sentences uttered as honest observations, but construed as insults. Most of these phrases have been made visually incoherent by their layered application. A stainless steel fork engraved with “what i really meant to say” sits on the bottom of the drawer, playing on the notions of tined speech, and being made to eat our own words as a result.
charred sugar typographs, etched Plexiglas, engraved fork, fimo, shellac, and engraved fork in cutlery case, 40 cm x 25 cm x 35, 2003.
side view of cabinet
detail of engraved fork on charred text