Friday, October 2, 2009
Untitled - Blake Fall-Conroy - 235 S. Cayuga St.
The merger of red, white, and blue police beacons into the American flag motif enhances the flag's primary purpose as a means of identification and marker of territory ("This spot is American") by heightening its visual impact with lights and motion. This merger also serves to reinforce the supposed ideologies of the United States that are already present in the flag's symbolism on an international scale-- things typically defined "clearly American." Such ideologies include the belief in the rule of law, unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, liberal democracy, legitimized authority, economic success, and acting "for the common good" of all people, among others.
Installed in the Cayuga garage, the flag claims the space (a long vacant commercial space next to an international financial services firm inside a newly constructed seven-story parking garage), not only as American territory, but perhaps as the recent culmination of a long history of developing American ideology.
So, that being said, I believe strongly that the intentions of the artist in creating a piece are unimportant compared to any meaning that is gleaned from a work by its audience. While I may personally think that the beacon flag is representative of one thing more than another, I think its audience could draw many different conclusions, both positive and negative. I hope the installation will facilitate this discussion.