MACROCOSMOS CATERPILLAR: MONARCH STREETCAR
Macrocosmos Caterpillar: Monarch Streetcar was a collaborative installation by artists Christina Bereolos and Amanda Gehin
From Art in the Loop:
The microcosmos of insects is brought into the macrocosmos of Downtown KC through the metamorphosis of a KC Streetcar vehicle into a ready-made animatronic monument depicting the bold-looking Kansas City native, the Monarch Butterfly Caterpillar. A giant caterpillar can’t help but evoke the talking, smoking caterpillar Alice meets in the flower forests of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The streetcar caterpillar cannot talk, but if it could it would politely ask you not to smoke (it’s a non-smoker), and then go on to tell you about its magical phases of metamorphosis and awe-inducing migration as a butterfly to the Oyamel Fir Forests of Central Mexico. A mobile portrait of the caterpillar stage of the Monarch Butterfly located on the streets of our most developed and urban setting gestures to a source of important wealth that shapes our identity: our city’s nature. Scaling the monarch to the size of the streetcar magnifies it’s essential role as a pollinator while celebrating Kansas City’s position within the Monarch migration flyway. Viewers are encouraged to encounter real Monarch caterpillars by fostering our city’s Monarch habitats; identifying, planting and protecting the caterpillar’s sole food and host plant, milkweed (Asclepias species).