The Fly Project

For Immediate Release
August 31, 2009

Artist Colleen Rudolf creates public, site specific events that are as much about humor and surprise as they are to provoke serious examination of our surroundings.  Influenced by the “green” movement, street artists and authors Tom Wessels and Annie Leonard, Rudolf’s installation, “Fly Project”, uses the iconic New York City statue, “The Bull” as a focal point to remind us that things never operate in complete isolation.  Created by artist Arturo DiModica, “The Bull” is a popular tourist attraction in Manhattan’s financial district.

Complex systems science, formerly chaos theory, is a scientific perspective of the world that arose during the second half of the 20th century.  This approach states that systems are usually nested within larger systems so when removing or changing one component, you affect not just the immediate system, but the many that it is nested within.

Rudolf has surrounded DiModica’s “Bull” with 160 cast latex flies attempting to ground the iconic image in a familiar reality.  Aware of the flies’ symbolism representing death and decay, Rudolf uses their presence to remind us of a natural portrayal of the animal and the environmental system it operates within.

Acting as researcher, Rudolf uses this configuration to document and observe people’s responses to change in their everyday experience.  Uncertain to what she will discover or how the project will evolve, Rudolf records responses hoping to acquire a deeper understanding about the function of public art.

Since “The Bull” represents a financial market that improves, this revered status during a world financial crisis seems inappropriate.  As a permanent fixture with monumental status in New York City’s financial district, the function switches from celebratory display of virility to good luck charm when surrounded by recession.  With inclusion of the fly, Rudolf adjusts the context again and begins to question the nature of icons and how they serve or distract us.


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