Fudge Mountain
Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, 1419 First Ave, 262-9581.

On a recent trip to Pike Place Market, Miss M. M. and I were stopped absolutely cold in our black boots by an enormous mound of fudge. It was in the window of a candy store, and was completely shapeless, a loose amorphous flow of solid matter with a distinctly scatological air. Like something out of Jurassic Park. (I mean, something that came out of something in Jurassic Park.)

How suggestive! In almost any other context, it would seem like a not-very-original conceptual work about being a consumer, about the full circle of buying and eating and shitting back out. About the collapse of excess and need. About the digestion of an idea. And the use of chocolate in art has such a rich history, from the feminist transformation of the sweet (Karen Finley, Janine Antoni) to the ultimate invocation of wish fulfillment in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The very temporary nature of food makes it an ideal medium for those artists who like to frustrate the collectors' market.

My mind reeled. We named it "Fudge Mountain" and, on bad days, it became shorthand for a better world.

A few days later, Miss M. M. reported that Fudge Mountain had turned into a real mountain, with arêtes and ravines and snowfields, covered in white chocolate (with a dusting of powdered sugar to suggest new-fallen snow) and little skier figurines. A quick phone call to Amy, the manager of the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, revealed that the fudge had been formed to resemble a mountain in the Wasatch Range, where the Winter Olympics should be starting any day now. I also learned that 200 pounds of fudge had been used in its creation; that this was Rocky Mountain's fourth fudge mountain; and that it's coming down on February 15, when a $5 store purchase gets you a free slice of the Wasatch. Amy also wanted to give a shout-out to Joe and Carolyn and Alexis and Ken and Sandi, who worked very hard to cook all that fudge and mold it and decorate it.

Congratulations to the team. But I miss the suggestive splodge of the unadorned Fudge Mountain. EMILY HALL