This week is the last opportunity to see “The Medium is the Message” exhibit at the Wende Museum.
Originally used to identify soldiers in battle and ships in international waters, flags have represented large geographic territories since the rise of the nation-state beginning in the late eighteenth century. Like monuments and national anthems, they intend to create a sense of identity based on a shared past, present, and future.
Like many other governments, the communist countries of the twentieth century produced an abundance of flags and banners. They were omnipresent at military parades, sports events, and public gatherings. Apart from national flags, many organizations produced their own richly decorated flags and banners. The Wende Museum holds over 2,000 of these ornamental textiles in its collection.
However, not only the powers that be use flags and banners. Artists have repurposed flags to change or subvert their original meaning for decades, while protestors and counterculture movements worldwide have capitalized on their strong symbolic value and identity-shaping qualities. The Medium is the Message combines Cold War-era political flags from communist countries with playful and critical appropriations from the period presented alongside contemporary artworks offering critical reflection on the here and now.
The Medium is the Message: Flags and Banners is generously supported by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Cotsen Foundation for Academic Research.
The exhibit will end on Oct. 23, 2022.
For more info, go to wendemuseum.org