Pelican Bomb presents a group exhibition that investigates contemporary notions of nationalism and the representation of imagined communities.
“False Flags” is a group exhibition curated by Noah Simblist and produced by Amanda Brinkman. It features nine artists from around the world whose practices investigate contemporary notions of nationalism and the representation of imagined communities in the Middle East and the Americas. The term “false flag” is derived from a historical practice of naval warfare by which nations would fly colors other than their own to deceive an enemy. In modern times, the term has been used to describe a covert military operation, designed to appear as if carried out by another entity. But a false flag assumes that a true flag is, in fact, real—more than a symbolic object or set of abstract signs.
Most often we think of flags in relation to nations. Political scientist Benedict Anderson famously called a nation an “imagined community,” a notion that is complicated when we think of states in waiting, like the Palestinian Authority, or refugee camps that exist outside of nationalism entirely. Flags can signal territorial and extraterritorial conditions, but they can also signal revolutionary struggles and their failures. Probing these multiple meanings through a range of media, the works on view further resonate in New Orleans—both with the city’s pageantry traditions and its contemporary negotiations around cultural identity.
“False Flags” includes works by William Binnie, Tania Bruguera, Minerva Cuevas, Jamal Cyrus, Exterritory Project, Nicolás Guagnini, Public Movement, Ariel Reichman, and Rona Yefman.
Pelican Bomb Gallery X is free and open to the public Wednesday - Sunday, 12 - 5 pm. Click here for more information about the exhibition.