Monday, 2 November 2015

Flying the Flag

There's something I find interesting going on here, to do with flags, flying, and symbology.*

At one time, I had a small series going called "Flags", which -- as so many side-projects do -- came to nothing.  On one level, it was simply a matter of finding flag-like patterns in the world, and naming them as such.  Look, it's just like a flag!  On another, it had a lot to do with the nature and purposes of "flags", and all similar, purely symbolic objects around which our loyalties and hostilities are expected (required, even) to cluster.  I was also fascinated by the contrast between a flag in its "ideal" form -- as, say, set out in an encyclopaedia of vexillology -- and its real-life instantiations, frayed and tattered by wind and battle.

At that time, I was also very interested in multiple images, and this is a good example of both concerns, from 2002, sheets of polythene wrapping thrashing around in a high wind from some newly-erected lamp-posts:

Sometimes I look at my older work, and wonder whether I've gone forwards, backwards or just sideways...  I remember that camera -- an Olympus C3030z -- with great affection.  It was the camera that persuaded me finally to abandon film, even though its 3 megapixel images (not to mention its tiny rear LCD) seem laughably small, now.  In fact, I think it was the small size yet high quality of the images that, in part, sent me down the road of multiples.  Something I gradually abandoned as I realised what an easy cliché the "grid" had become in contemporary art.

But maybe sometime I should revisit that "flags" theme, assuming that most of the original image files did not vanish in my recent backup drive disaster...

* Students of culture may also find themselves inexplicably humming the  "Stop the Pigeon" theme...

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