POP Patriotism 2002
POP Patriotism, curated by Peter Scott at Momenta Art in September 2002, is being re-presented at carriage trade from September 22 to November 13, 2011. A note on the re-presentation of POP Patriotism in 2011:
In the panicked days, weeks, and months following September 11, 2001, many Americans were too overwhelmed to be aware of the way in which their fear was being appropriated by certain factions within government and business to further a set of goals, often having little to do with "security" or "freedom." An attack that seemed to "come from nowhere" stimulated an aggressive series of government policies and ad campaigns by businesses that reflected an acute understanding of the opportunity that this traumatic attack presented. In the ten years that have passed, this opportunism, from the failed "contract wars" in Iraq and Afghanistan (reaping billions for private firms while helping drive the U.S. deeply into debt) to the tapering-off of the patriotic spirit when it no longer served a consumerist agenda, has mostly faded from view. Buried under partisan conflict, which focuses on the liberal / conservative divide, the attention eventually fell on a series of "mistakes" by the Bush administration, mostly overlooking the gutting of the public sector for private profit (brilliantly outlined in Naomi Klein's 2007 book, "The Shock Doctrine"), launched with patriotic fervor in the wake of the September 11 attacks.
When POP Patriotism was first presented at Momenta Art in September 2002, the idea was to witness a momentary rupture which revealed some of the brutal contradictions of "free market" democracy by "freezing" it in the guise of a historical museum. The exhibition was intended as a kind of time capsule, perhaps to be opened at some later date, which might present an opportunity to examine, not through the gauze of memories or reflections, but with artworks and support material that came from the immediacy of moment. In representing the exhibition as faithfully as possible (accounting for a change in venue and the time that has passed) POP Patriotism now has the possibility to function as it was originally intended, as a historical record of an extraordinary period, the repercussions of which are perhaps still not fully understood.