Black Beercan Butterflies

Paul Villinski: Passage  Blanton Museum, Austin, Texas

Paul Villinski: Passage Blanton Museum, Austin, Texas

In keeping with the theme of transforming trash that I spoke about in yesterday’s post on El Anatsui, here is Paul Villinski’s Passage, currently on display at the Blanton Museum.

Each butterfly (1000 strong) is hand crafted from discarded beer cans, found on the streets of New York; many species  – all anatomically correct.  Seeming like carbon-copies, but each unique.

. . .metamorphosing littered beer cans into flocks of butterflies mirrors the act of transformation and rebirth that butterflies symbolize across all cultures.         P. Villinski

They swirl around a glider model spanning over 20 feet, made of old pallets and other discarded wood.

The joining of the two is ethereal and intriguing.  The juxtapositions are fresh.  The  usually delicate butterfly is now made of metal, aluminum. In nature, gossamer and light, but like metal, withstanding  journeys of a thousand miles.  Fragility’s strength.

The glider seems motionless, while the butterflies have a sense of purposeful movement.  Moving in stillness.

The fascination of flight – both manmade (symbolized in the glider) and natural (the butterflies). Is the plane carrying along the butterflies as they swirl around its skeleton? Or is it they, who are navigating, buoying the plane on the breeze of a thousand wings?