Flies in a Jar


Glass jar with zippers and plants

25.4 x 15.2 x 15.2 cm (10 x 6 x 6 in.)

Locked in a glass jar, the artist's visual rebus plays on the double meaning of the word “flies”, the plural of “fly”. The latter means both the insect – which one tries to catch – and the opening of trousers covering the groin, which may be open and closed by a zipper. The basic material is thus language, which is isolated and sampled in a glass jar and made concrete by the association of the zippers and the twigs on which they are placed and displayed.

Fragile? The group exhibition at the Le Stanze del Vetro, on the island of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice, in 2013, associated Flies in a Jar with L'air de Paris (1919-1939), the air of Paris which Marcel Duchamp encapsulated in a pharmaceutical glass ampoule, and with Dust to Dust (2009) by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, which locked in a glass urn the dust remaining from a Neolithic vase.

Flies in Jar was shown for the first time by the Pinault Collection at the 2015 "Slip of the Tongue" exhibition at Punta della Dogana in Venice.