Statement for NATIONALISM Series
As the news media report on the United States' presence in Iraq, they present us with two kinds of stories: those that deal with the formulation and implementation of national policy, and those that report on individuals whose lives have been altered by this conflict. These two sets of stories seem to exist apart from each other; the connections between private tragedies and national strategies remain relatively unexplored.
In my Nationalism series, I want to examine the link between the U.S.A.'s course of action and the lives of its citizens. My material is the nation's banner, the flag, which I cut into thin strips. Then I rely upon crochet to reconfigure the familiar surface into an unfamiliar, abstracted one and to elicit associations with the grandmothers of our lives—quintessential providers of comfort and safety.
Cutting up the flag aligns my work with those who have used the flag to express their opposition to national policies. Though clearly not treating the Stars and Stripes in a traditional or widely acceptable manner, desecrating the flag is not my goal. I see the time spent slicing and crocheting as a way to make my thinking physical. This work allows me to mull over patriotism, allegiance to my country, the implication of "indivisible" and "with liberty and justice for all."