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Then, about a decade ago, I began to think that choosing, highlighting, commenting, replacing, overlapping, disassembling and reassembling were no longer enough. That a conceptual approach could finally be reconciled with a more studio based practice and that manual labor should come back to play a role within my research.
AK: There are some flags (not only national flags but also regional and tribal flags) that are gorgeous.
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If we collected them all we would have a body of phenomenal “works.” Think of the history of the flags of Libya: from that of Italian Libya (horrendous) to that of the French administration of the Kingdom of Libya (first introduced in the 1950s, then taken up again as the current flag), to the flag of the Republic of Libya (with horizontal red, white and black stripes) and then to that of Gaddafi, entirely green, which was fantastic, both aesthetically and—if I may say so—conceptually.
To then go back to the flag (modified in proportion) of the 1950s, via that of the rebels from the civil war.
But up to that point I had worked exclusively with printing laboratories, and I had always met resistance from printers to these type of experiments.
The arrangement of the scrap paper and notes on the tabletop added another level—casual, considering the multitude of techniques used to ball up and toss the paper—onto the work. RICCARDO PREVIDI: I just looked up the one from Seychelles. It’s a strange flag, very far from the often stereotypical idea we have of China.
RP: I would never have expected you to be an expert in vexillology!
My approach, especially when the idea first came to me, was certainly more Eurocentric.
The shiny golden paper, the gesture of breaking the cookie in half, the crumbs and the paper with a fortune: all these elements come together to create the informal climate in which I wanted the work to be received.
For some time now I have been trying to not be “satisfied” with what already exists and to not limit my contribution to a mere comment.