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...