The Landscape of Perpetual Flags
Medium: Textile Collages
The territory that we inhabit today and in which we develop our daily activities is constructed by our history. The progressive appreciation of social media and its effect on art, politics, social life, leisure, education, and religion has, in recent years, impacted the role of design in this territory.
The construction of ‘heritage’ questions the meaning of social and cultural transformations brought about by emigration. The endless number of objects that have entered Portugal over the last 50 years have lived inside homes and created strong links between house, family, society, and culture. Those objects, brought by immigrants from its former colonies, have become the conveyers of new cultural models and have shaped new multiculturalism with associated lifestyles and symbolic values attached to them. The immigrants’ houses were, perhaps, the first objects representing this new social and cultural framework, as they became visible on the Portuguese rural landscape. The path of cultural objects into mass-consumption has recently been incorporated into Portuguese anthropology. Fernando Galhano is one of the first anthropologists to do some research on these changes in this ethnographic field.
Objects traveled, changed hand and were adapted to new stories and climates. They crossed countless borders, shifted identity, and became new at each stage of the journey. They have endlessly been created, produced, sold, bought, used and re-appropriated.
For this serious of fabric collages, I have been looking at flags from different countries and objects from Portuguese folk culture to describe a nation as a whole. To discover a new place, story or idea implies a change of expectation and point of view. I try to achieve a serious of compositions that challenge context while combining colours, patterns, and shapes with images from nature, drawings of traditional objects from both rural and urban areas of Portugal with objects that are connected to colonial relationships that underpin people’s cultural history.
People are currently thinking much about their political identity and sovereignty. My flags contradict the nationalism associated with flags by incorporating images which celebrate the multiculturalism brought by immigration.
The works are the result of four months of residency in Lisbon named ThirdBase in 2019.