erika harrsch forms delicate currency butterflies from international bills erika harrsch forms delicate currency butterflies from international bills
feb 15, 2014

erika harrsch forms delicate currency butterflies from international bills

erika harrsch forms delicate currency butterflies from international bills
(above) ‘papilionumismia specimens’
all images courtesy of erika harrsch

 

 

 

exploring the cultural and societal notions of money — and how people relate to it when placed in a poetic, playful and imaginative context — new york-based artist erika harrsch forms currency butterflies, sculpted from specimen-prints of international bills. the monetized lepidoptera presented as wall installations, extinct specimens inside of entomological boxes or as free flight currency kites describe their fragile beauty, reserved and contained as a desired object. ‘after years of observing monarch butterflies closely, often photographing and filming at the sanctuaries in mexico, I have come to be in awe of their collective flight.’ harrsch explains, ‘the balanced perfection of its flow is fascinating, as is and the subtle correlation between light and the direction of the butterflies’ shifting patterns.’ the works weave together various notions about human nature, identity, capital circulation, commerce and trade through the juxtapose of each delicate creature and the powerful medium that defines them.

currency-butterflies-by-erika-harrsch-designboom-05
‘flow’, 2013
permanent wall installation at the eaton corp. world headquarters atrium, cleveland OH
16 x 9 feet

 

currency-butterflies-by-erika-harrsch-designboom-06
‘flow’ (detail)

currency-butterflies-by-erika-harrsch-designboom-03
papilionumismia ephemerae europeae (eurospecimens), 2011
three-dimensional cut-out hand-painted giclee print on archival cotton paper
each box: 8 x 6 x 3 in.
collection of 23 boxes, each with one specimen

currency-butterflies-by-erika-harrsch-designboom-07
papilionumismia ephemerae europeae (eurospecimens), (detail)

currency-butterflies-by-erika-harrsch-designboom-08
eurospecimens – papilionumismia ephemerae europeae, 2011

currency-butterflies-by-erika-harrsch-designboom-10
eurospecimens – papilionumismia ephemerae europeae, 2011

currency-butterflies-by-erika-harrsch-designboom-04
currency kite

currency-butterflies-by-erika-harrsch-designboom-01
the installation of ‘flow’

 

  • Erika is a bit of a dip stick.
    In many countries it is illegal to copy the currency.
    In all countries it is illegal to destroy the currency.
    Use coloured paper next time.

    Rank Frank says:
  • Safety first kids. Hard-hat, goggles and a dust mask when installing paper butterflies

    meija says:
  • Amazing, beautiful

    goldfish says:
  • Mr Rank Frank, where is subversion if not in actions like this?
    After all mankind makes currency bills (banknotes, money, whatever you may like to call it) and mankind can take the liberty to ‘beautifully destroy’ it…..and all the more so if the action sparks questions and….doubts.
    Well done Ms Erika….. only, I like that part less, which is the the most important one, the bills are fake …what a disappointment 🙁

    Vedett says:
  • Relax, “RANK Frank.” The butterflies are made as copies, not the actual currency. One of the captions says, “three-dimensional cut-out hand-painted giclee print on archival cotton paper.” That is why it’s considered ART, rather than destruction. And obviously, no authorities really have a problem with this installation; it is beautiful and culturally unifying.

    Kendra says:
  • One of the most amazing works I´ve ever seen. Congratulations Ms. Harrsch.
    Amazing work! love it !

    Rank Frank what do u mean by dip stick?

    Pepe says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

comments policy
LOG IN
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

(60 articles)

art news