Sunday, July 5, 2015

You can't ignore the Confederate flag. But you can burn it and then bury it

Artist John Sims invites people to confront their fears of the racism and violence embodied by the Southern flag to eulogize it, then light it on fire

According to John Sims, a political math artist, we should “confront it, reimagine it and then burn and bury it.” For 15 years, Sims has wrestled with the Confederate flag in his multi-media piece Recoloration Proclamation. In the late 1990s (when battles raged over the stars and bars in South Carolina – sound familiar?), Sims was disturbed by the flag’s prevalence when he moved to Florida, which “wasn’t even in the deep south.”

As an artist, Sims wanted to “move from civil disobedience space” and his desire to tear the flag down, to a “creative resistance space.” He began by coloring the flag for an exhibition in New York — first red, black and green for black nationalism, later black on black, and white on white — to explore “the place of black folks” in Confederate mythology, and to ask, “How can the Confederate flag be representative of the full south?” Steven W Thrasher

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