“TO BE A TOURIST is to escape accountability. Errors and failings don’t cling to you the way they do back home. You’re able to drift across continents and languages, suspending the operation of sound thought. Tourism is the march of stupidity. You’re expected to be stupid.
― Don DeLillo, The Names
Tourists reflected in a metal bird. Travelling Man Sculpture, Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas
Taken during the DART to Art, Rail & Ride
Bronze Fly at Pioneer Plaza, Dallas, Texas
The giant bronze sculpture of a cattle drive at Pioneer Plaza in Dallas is a very popular tourist attraction. Hordes of snap-happy folks mill around posing while raising their phones to get something to upload. The stationary wave of metal cattle forever guided by three cowboys is an impressive bit of public art – one that simultaniously awes the throng while reinforcing every Dallas Stereotype (cattle, cowboys, size, tackiness, gaudy, cliche) in the book.
When I visit I always climb to the cowboy on the top of the rise (that the herd of Longhorns is plunging from – down and across a draw) to look at something very small on the hidquarters of his horse. There is a bronze horsefly stuck there – a tiny detail donated by the sculptor to the more observant art fan.
I must not be the only one. The patina is worn fron the little fly-shaped lump of metal – giving it a virgin bronze color. The rubbing hands of crowds of tourists keep the horsefly gleaming in the afternoon sun.