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Artist Ekene Ijeoma reflects on the charged life of the American Flag

via The Architects Newspaper

July 2, 2018

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The United States Flag Code states, “The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing.” Sometimes it’s flown in different positions and orientations. It can be flown half-staff on days such as Memorial Day and September 11 and flown upside down “as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.”

I’ve been thinking about American symbols and how they respond (or don’t respond) to the state of America and The American Dream. How can the flag respond to the quality of life in America? How can it represent America’s aspirations and realizations? What would happen to the flag as things got better or worse? How would seeing this change our perceptions and actions?

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Ekene Ijeoma's Deconstructed Anthems

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Deconstructed Anthems at the Day for Night festival.

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Emmy-winning pianist Kris Bowers, Blue-note recording artist/trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, and Grammy-nominated bassist Burniss Earl Travis perform Deconstructed Anthems.

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Burniss Earl Travis

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Ambrose Akinmusire

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Deconstructed Anthems is an ongoing series of music performances and light installations in which a self-playing piano and music ensemble deconstruct the Star-Spangled Banner, repeating it multiple times, removing notes at the rate of mass incarceration, and ending in silence. 

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