Monumental Cloth: Its Insidious Presence in Popular Culture

A Monumental Cloth That Tells a New Truth About the US Civil War
Jasmine Weber, April 9, 2019, Hyperallergic



PHILADELPHIA — Yoga mats, decorative throw pillows, beach towels, do-rags, and wedding rings: all objects you can purchase today emblazoned with the Confederate battle flag.

Though Confederate soldiers waved a number of flags, none have become as culturally emblematic and parasitic as the rebel flag we know today. But contemporary artist Sonya Clark is challenging its insidious presence in popular culture.

Hate and racial discrimination is an easy disease to catch in this nation,” Clark said during a tour of her recently opened exhibition Monumental Cloth, The Flag We Should Know. Even if we can take down statues heralding Confederate generals, she says, the symbol of the rebel flag is “far more pervasive and problematic.” And to this problem, Clark has presented a solution.

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absolute power depends on absolute control over knowledge, which in turn necessitates absolute corruption

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“Politicians, Priests, and psychiatrists often face the same problem: how to find the most rapid and permanent means of changing a man’s belief…The problem of the doctor and his nervously ill patient, and that of the religious leader who sets out to gain and hold new converts, has now become the problem of whole groups of nations, who wish not only to confirm certain political beliefs within their boundaries, but to proselytize the outside world.” – William Sargant “Battle of the Mind”

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