White Flags

Submitted by Aaron Fein

0

Client: Various

Location: Poughkeepsie, NY, United States

Completion date: 2010

Artwork budget: $35,000

Project Team

Other

Harry Roseman

Vassar College

Artist

Aaron Fein

Aaron Fein

Client

Troy Messenger

Union Theological Seminary

Other

Michael Curry

Curry & Associates, Structural Engineers

Overview

WHITE FLAGS, an installation of all the flags of the UN rendered entirely in white, was inspired in the months after 9/11 as I observed the subtle, yet undeniable change, in that most ubiquitous of post 9/11 symbols: the American Flag bumper sticker. The symbol of the flag – the one that so many Americans turned to for comfort, solace, and permanence – was slowly yet undeniably fading towards white.
As an installation, made up of 193 individual parts, each added slowly over a decade, White Flags developed into a site-morphic installation, continually reconfigured to accommodate various architectural settings.

Goals

The work was primarily a passion project aided in part by many hands along the way. The world premiere display of the work in its entirety was located on the campus of Vassar College as part of a Mellon Foundation Grant. I worked closely with faculty, administrators, engineers, and facility operations personnel as well as students to complete and mount the installation. Differing installation sites and schemes were explore and discussed with the college to find the most effective means of presentation.
The second full installation of the flags was located in James Chapel at Union Theological Seminary in New York City to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of 9/11. For that installation, I engineered a simple system of steel cables that I anchored the to the massive stone piers of the gothic structure, using a pneumatic lift.

Additional Information

Installation Size: Variable Individual Flag Dimension: 32" x 54" Flag Material: Cotton Duck and Rayon Embroidery