This is not America’s flag. The exhibition that wonders what’s behind the symbol (2022)

1 min read

The exhibition This Is Not America’s Flag, on display at The Broad museum in Los Angeles, reflects through art on the nationalist sentiment in the United States reflected in one of the main patriotic symbols: the flag.

An exhibition that deconstructs the concept of the flag, and the ideals implicit in it in the U.S., to express injustices and inequalities that have been maintained during different stages in the country.

Works by artists such as Alfredo Jaar, Laura Aguilar, Nicole Eisenman or Jeffrey Gibson make up this collection that was conceived during the wave of activism for racial justice after the assassination of George Floyd on May 25, 2020.

Featuring over twenty artists, This Is Not America’s Flag will spotlight the myriad ways artists explore the symbol of the flag of the United States of America, underscoring its vast, divergent, and complex meanings.

this is not america's flag
A woman views “America, 2021”, mixed media including US flags by Hank Willis Thomas at the “This Is Not America’s Flag” exhibition at The Broad museum in Los Angeles, on May 19, 2022. The exibition will run from May 21 to September 25, 2022. Photo: Profimedia

“Artworks in these exhibitions speak to recovery, resistance, and even beauty in the face of deep social and environmental upheaval”, said The Broad Founding Director Joanne Heyler.

“Our dual pandemics of racism and COVID-19 lay bare many myths embedded in modern American identity. This Is Not America’s Flag contemplates the state of national symbolism, shines light on U.S. history and present, and questions perceptions, asking vital questions about what we stand for as individuals and as a society.

Titled after Alfredo Jaar’s iconic 1987 work, A Logo for AmericaThis Is Not America’s Flag will provide a critical discourse on the symbol’s meaning, the complexity and contradictions of contemporary national identity, and artists as active citizens. The exhibition was launched conceptually in the summer of 2020 during the groundswell of activism for racial justice in the wake of the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor and was inspired by two works in the Broad collection, Flag (1967) by Jasper Johns and African-American Flag (1990) by David Hammons.

this is not america's flag
A man views a collaboration piece by Takashi Murakami and Virgil Abloh titled “Times: America Too”, 2018, acrylic on canvas at the “This Is Not America’s Flag” exhibition at The Broad museum in Los Angeles on May 19, 2022. Photo: Profimedia

Presenting works from artists including Laura Aguilar, Nicole Eisenman, Jeffrey Gibson, Hammons, Jaar, Johns and Hank Willis Thomas, the exhibition presents works that both embrace the flag as the signifier of the nation and its ideals and subvert it — often simultaneously — to express injustices and inequities woven into the fabric of the country, past and present. Via The Broad Museum

Video © EFE Via Reuters

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