Vox Vexillum

Vox Vexillum: Future Flags


previous arrow
next arrow

August to October 2023
928 NW 21st Ave, Gainesville, Florida  

Curated by Flounder Lee

Curator Statement

Flags represent places, nations, causes. They communicate both literally (semaphores) and symbolically. They have been used to claim land that doesn’t belong to the flag bearer. They have been carried in causes just and unjust. How can/will/should they be used in the future? Can they be used to re-enfranchise, decolonize, lead peaceful movements?

The flags in this exhibition deal with a panoply of topics regarding futures. When dealing with futures, we can’t help but reckon with the past and present.

Ambra Scali’s work deals with the relationships between society and nature. Her flag is cotton with natural dyes and colors. It feels timeless, like it could be from 10,000 years ago or banner to an Earth renewed in 200 years.

Oliver Orthuber created a Nation of Thinkers. He states it symbolizes “a community where ideas, innovation, and intellectual exchange are nurtured. This flag is meant to inspire individuals to unleash their own thinking potential and shape the future with creative solutions.”

Souvik Chakraborty gives us X-nat, a haven for inclusivity, peace, and creativity. Humans are free to realize their passions, dreams, and goals without competition or being overwhelmed by technology or oppression.

New Religion (pink anarchy) by Helen K Grant works in contradictions. The sacred patterns of the Alhambra juxtaposed with the ubiquitous anarchy symbol she found all around the city. The colors, patterns, sewing styles, and symbols all work to mix and oppose stationary interpretations of time, gender, and other expectations.

Bart Woodstrup will be showing We Came in Peace, an electric flag with lights representing the US flags placed on the Moon during the Apollo landings. As we work towards landing on the Moon again shortly, this flag feels timely. The faded colors speak to the UV radiation the original flags would have been subject to but can also be interpreted politically.

Another altered US Flag, The Flag of the Bifurcated States of America by Jerry Bleem deals with the highly polarized nature of US politics where no compromise seems possible and extreme positions are seemingly the norm. Will the US eventually bifurcate completely, or split into other types of entities altogether?

The final entry is the Flag of the Refugee Nation. It was designed by the artist Yara Said, who is a Syrian refugee. The colors reference the life jackets of the many people who have braved overcrowded boats seeking new life, new freedoms, and safety in other places. This flag is different in some ways to the others in that it is sold to raise money and awareness. It is no less potent for the methods of manufacture and sale but seeks to give a symbol to the millions of refugees the world over.