People's Flag, 2006
textile materials, natural and synthetic fibres
452 x 904 cm irregular
Purchased 2006 with the support of the Audain Endowment for Contemporary Canadian Art of the National Gallery of Canada Foundation
National Gallery of Canada (no. 41947)
Drawing upon the Irish political activist Jim Connell’s late nineteenth-century worker’s anthem “The Red Flag” as well as the protest banners of environmental activism, Brian Jungen’s "People’s Flag" transforms second-hand clothing into an immense proletarian patchwork. Created from red garments collected in Vancouver and London, England, "People’s Flag" was assembled on site in the gallery space of the Tate Modern in a time-consuming process wherein Jungen and others stitched together an assortment of textiles including hats, bags, and clothes. The labour involved in the flag’s construction becomes part of the completed work, thus informing a commentary on the process of mass production and the disparity in conditions between those who make consumer goods and those who demand them.