"Ol' Glory, Ol' Apologies"
January 5, 2018 – February 8, 2018
Over the course of the last year and a half, Paul Weiner has appropriated various icons of American culture as tools in examining the social mores in a country heavily divided by political, economic, race and religious ideologies. Throughout his career, he has often started new bodies of work as a result of an unsettling event. Weiner’s latest series focuses particularly on Americana, notions of entitlement and subversive separatist attitudes stemming from the 2016 Presidential election, have spurned a desire to search for further definitions of what it means to be an American. The exhibition Ol’ Glory, Ol’ Apologies delves into American ideas of self-awareness, global identity and altered histories behind the repeat offenses of American stereotypes.
The new suite of American flags, Gadsden Flags and government documents work to separate the stereotypical symbols of patriotism from their original intent and place them into moments of introspection for the viewers. This series entitled “Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397 (1989)” references the United States Supreme Court decision, which abolished any prohibitions on desecrating the American flag. Weiner works to engage with the American psyche through these works and traverse ingrained ideas of what their personal definitions are of patriotism. By crafting paintings out of American flags and iterations thereof, Weiner has tapped into a slue of social anxieties expressed by various groups of American peoples. Whether it be the anti-protestors railing against NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem, to military vets who support the rights of every citizen to speak their minds freely, this series distills down the most basic elements of the flags and works to free them of all preconceived notions of patriotism and American identity. This allows for visitors to form their own definitions and patriotism and American Nationalism.
Installation images by Jeffrey Enriquez.