The University Art Gallery in Sewanee will present Allegiance, a quiet and intimate exhibition of complex and beautiful woven textiles by Los Angeles-based artist Diedrick Brackens, on view from today through Dec. 13.
Brackens will speak about his work on Nov. 8 at 5 p.m. in Convocation Hall in Sewanee followed by a reception. The public is welcome.
In Allegiance, Brackens, an African-American whose ancestors picked cotton in Texas, self-consciously transforms that fraught material into beautiful textiles as he plays with the viewer’s expectations and associations, turning symbols, lyrics and materials to new purposes.
He refashions American and Confederate flags, quotes and recasts the lyrics to the minstrel song “Dixie” and to the hymn “Holy, Holy, Holy,” and makes the language of advertising both sentimental and subversive.
Richly allusive, many of the pieces on view meditate on flags, their uses and their dense networks of associations (Americana, heartland, heritage, freedom).
The symbolism of flags is disrupted, teased, and softened, and these abstracted flags are seen as if through a veil.
The viewer is invited to adopt a personal, thoughtful and emotional point of view and to meditate on the negotiation of belonging, to inhabit an intimate perspective and to quietly imagine alternative ways of being and of relating to one another.