The United States flag has been a symbol of patriotism since the Continental Congress gave the Star-Spangled Banner a sign of approval in 1777, in the midst of the American Revolutionary War. An image of the pride of the people, displayed in front of the house, waved at the parade, and solemnly ceremonial. But when flying upside down, burning, manipulating colors and designs, the flag can also send a much more destructive message.
A new exhibition entitled “This is not the American Flag” at the Broad Museum in Los Angeles explored this dichotomy by exhibiting a series of works centered around the flag, among Americans today. Ask the meaning of something.
Reaction to George Floyd’s murderStaff devised during the Covid-19 pandemic worked on a remote exhibition in 2020 as protests broke out following the killing of George Floyd and the death of another African-American by police. It was started. Demonstrated just a few blocks from the museum, Broad curator and exhibition manager Sarah Royer said, “We are more sensitive to the moment and what is happening in our city, our country and around the world. “To do” said he was motivated.
According to Royer, the team initially focused on two pieces of the collection. The 1967 Jasper Johns “Flag” and the 1990 “African-American Flag” newly acquired by David Hammons.
Johns drew a “flag” in the midst of a protest against the Vietnam War and embedded a newspaper clipping about the war in the picture of the flag. A few months later, Congress passed the Flag Protection Act of 1968.
Twenty years later, after a man was arrested for burning the US flag, the Supreme Court took up the flag desecration case. The court ruled that it was an act of “symbolic speech” protected by the First Amendment.
Shortly thereafter, in 1990 Hammons created the “African American Flag”, replacing traditional colors with the red, black, and green of the Pan-African flag and rethinking the emblem. According to Royer, in the Hammons version, viewers are wondering who the flag represents. “The simplicity is great, but it’s still patriotic, which makes it a truly iconic piece of artwork,” she added.
After months of discussion, the museum settled on a group of 22 artists and a broad interpretation of their flag. Historical, including a photo of Dorothea Lange, a group of children posing with a flag in a Japanese concentration camp in California during World War II, and the work of 95-year-old sculptor Betty Saar. Works are on display. World War I soldiers rode on a tombstone with the American flag. More modern additions include “Extra Value (After Venus)”. This is her self-portrait by Genevieve Gaignard, who took a picture of herself in front of the flag, wearing a “Thug Life” T-shirt and holding a McDonald’s french fries box.
American logoThe title of the show was inspired by the animated sign “A Logo for America” by Chilean artist Alfredo Jaar, which was first exhibited at Times Square in 1987. The artwork flashed an image of the United States, followed by contouring a map of the north and south. Central America is a commentary on the use of the word America to describe the United States.
“I arrived in 1982 and was shocked to find that (they) refer to” America, America, America “in the everyday language of the people of this country. (But) they weren’t thinking or talking about the continent. They were just talking about the United States, “Jaar said in a telephone interview. He added: “Language is not innocent, it always reflects geopolitical reality. Basically, the United States is so powerful within the continent that it dominates the continent economically and culturally. . “
Since the original was first shown, it has come to have many meanings. According to Jaar, viewers see the work as an anti-Trump message and a call for more immigration policy. “You make a piece. It appears in a particular context, at a particular moment in history. Time changes, context changes, and people … begin to project other ideas. , That’s perfectly fine, “he said.
Personal perspectiveSome of the most powerful works on display are also the most personal.
Twenty years ago, mixed media artist Hank Willis Thomas’ cousin Songa was shot dead during a robbery outside a Philadelphia nightclub. Thomas turned his personal tragedy into a series of works reminiscent of the American flag, with thousands of stars symbolizing the victims of gun violence.
This time in Buffalo, New York, the 2017 work feels painfully relevant today as the nation rebounds from another tragic shooting. “15,580” runs down the museum floor, and the installation Thomas said represents a lost life.
“They are shooting stars and I wanted to commemorate their lives,” he said. “We haven’t reached a healthy way to really commemorate them.”
Thomas explains why he felt compelled to use the image of the American flag: Past, present, and future. “
Elsewhere in the exhibition, Wendy Red Star’s installation, The Indian Congress, refers to the groundbreaking conference of 35 Native American countries in 1898 in Omaha, Nebraska. To the world, and as part of the event’s program, visitors were offered the opportunity to see congressional representatives as if they were some sort of attraction — a tour of their camp and a step-by-step. Utilize Native American people in the reproduction.
Originally from Montana, the Apsar Luke Red Star collected historic portraits from the event and displayed them on two long tables, reconvening lawmakers with another, more respectful, and more respectful. However, as a reminder of the colonial power struggle of the time, the display table is adorned with the American flag and patriotic flag cloth. She said her hands-on experience of cutting out each photo of her and learning each person’s name and history became her personal. “It is very important that the voices of indigenous peoples and indigenous peoples are humanized,” she said.
“The important thing in an exhibition like this is to present history and not silence a particular story, and … I think it might make you even more proud to be an American. It’s very important to remember history, and to include our brutal history, it only brings us healing, “Red Star said.
All the artwork on display critically views the flag, patriotism, and the meaning of being American, but Royer does not believe the artist is rude.
“When artists raise the flag, they rely on the assumed knowledge of what the flag represents. Often it is freedom, justice and freedom. I think these works have those concepts. I see my heartfelt beliefs … and I also see the work as a way to challenge us, think more deeply about those subjects, and think about history. “
“This is not the American Flag” will be held at the Broad Museum in Los Angeles from May 21st to September 25th, 2022.
“This is not the American flag:” Artwork challenges the meaning of coming from the United States | Lifestyle
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