A More Perfect Union

A More Perfect Union

A More Perfect Union foregrounds the museum as town square — for the greater Skidmore and Capital Region communities. It asks us to think critically and actively about the role that politics, policy, and our national discourse play in the state of the Union. Created for provocation and thoughtful dialogue, the stage is a large soapbox, and throughout the summer and fall we will be exploring the elections and the current state of democracy through classes, lectures, dialogues, debates, performances, lunches, and more.

We invite participation in the conversation through the impromptu sharing of opinions via a microphone that is always on. The three picnic tables located in the gallery and atrium are a continuation of Dear America, a collaborative project created by students in Mel Ziegler’s Installation/Social Intervention class at Vanderbilt University: Conor Bloomer; Xiyu Deng; Ashlin Dolan; John Jones; Larissa May; Katherine Stark; Qinyuan Sun; Jingzhi Wang; Tongqi Wang; John Wells; and Diana Zhu. We invite you to write your thoughts about politics, democracy, and citizenship directly on them, using the markers provided.

Mel Ziegler’s Flag Exchange

A More Perfect Union presents the debut of the recently completed Flag Exchange, a multi-year project by conceptual and social interventionist artist Mel Ziegler. With an inventory of new United States flags in his car, Ziegler journeyed to each of the 50 states and exchanged a weathered flag for a new one. In a process with parallels to the travels of a political candidate, Ziegler arrived in a state, searched for an appropriate flag, and then sought the flag’s owner. In the conversation that followed, he introduced himself as an artist and explained his project. Most people he met were receptive to his invitation to participate, and after they exchanged flags, he moved on. He found flags at homes, post offices, storefronts, and other public sites. Sometimes he chose a flag because of its look, or because the location was significant, and other times because the exchange was particularly poignant. Ziegler had the name of each state embroidered along the hoist edge.

According to the 1923 National Flag Conference held in Washington, D.C., the American flag “represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing.” The lives of the 50 flags hanging above you include both their history of use and Ziegler’s experiences acquiring them. These silently held narratives are reminders of the various connotations the U.S. flag carries, both spoken and unspoken, public and private, here in America and abroad.

A More Perfect Union Public Events

Friday, September 16, 5:00 pm
Fifty Ways to Love Your Framers by Gordon Lloyd

Wednesday, September 21, 6:00 pm
Turkey in Turmoil: Life and Politics After the Failed Coup by Feryaz Ocakli

Friday, September 23, 3:00 - 6:00 pm
SGA Rock the Vote Festival

Monday, September 26, 9:00 – 10:30 pm
Debate Watch Party

Wednesday, September 28, 7:00 pm
Jose Antonio Vargas Lecture

Tuesday, October 4, 9:00 – 10:30 pm
Debate Watch Party

Wednesday, October 5, 6:30 pm
Guilt, Shame, and Climate Change by Jennifer Jacquet

Thursday, October 6, 2:00 – 7:00 pm
Voter Registration Drive

Sunday, October 9, 9:00 – 10:30 pm
Debate Watch Party

Monday, October 10, 7:30 pm
Dialogue with Congressmen Chris Gibson and Paul D. Tonko, moderated by Alexander Heffner

Tuesday, October 18, 7:00 pm
Saratoga Springs City Charter Public Hearing

Wednesday, October 19, 9:00 – 10:30 pm
Debate Watch Party

Wednesday, October 26, 8:00 pm
Teaching TRUMP

Thursday, October 27, 6:00 pm
From Headscarf Hysteria to Burkini Bans: Western Reactions to ‘Muslim’ Women and Their Bodies

Tuesday, November 1, 6:00 pm
A woman’s place … is in the White House: Gender and the 2016 Presidential Elections

Thursday, November 3, 7:00 pm
We the People OPEN MIC

Friday, November 4, 5:00 - 7:30 pm
Saratoga ArtsFestFridays

Monday, November 7, 7:00 pm
Folk’d Up Country

Tuesday, November 8, 7:00 pm - Midnight
Election Night Extravaganza

Friday November 11, 7:00 pm
New Theater Piece by Michael San Roman ‘17

Monday, November 12, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
What Now? A post-election campus and community a pop-up course

Saturday, November 12, 7:00 pm
New Theater Piece by Michael San Roman ‘17

Monday, November 28, 7:30 pm
Trans-Issues in Politics and the Workplace by Gina Leigh Duncan Lecture

Friday, December 9, 4:00 pm
Tang Exchange: Community Object and Skill Share

Wednesday, December 14, 7:00 pm
The Role of Dialogue in a Dividing World by Francois Reyes

Exhibition Name
A More Perfect Union
Exhibition Type
Solo Exhibitions
Wachenheim Gallery
Jul 2, 2016 - Dec 30, 2016
A More Perfect Union is organized by Dayton Director Ian Berry in collaboration with the artist, Mel Ziegler. This exhibition is supported by Friends of the Tang.
Mel Ziegler
Student Staff
Allison Smith
Education Assistant for College and Public Programs, Student Advisory Council, Tang Guide, Exhibitions Assistant
Claire Bernson
Education Assistant for College and Public Programs, Tang Guide, Student Advisory Council, Exhibitions Assistant
Past related events
Feb 23, 2017, 5:30 PM
Jan 20, 2017, 12 PM
Jan 19, 2017, 12 PM
Jan 18, 2017, 12 PM
Dec 12, 2016, 6 PM
Dec 5, 2016, 6 PM
Nov 28, 2016, 6 PM
Nov 21, 2016, 6 PM
Nov 14, 2016, 6 PM
Nov 12, 2016, 10 AM
Nov 8, 2016, 7 PM
Nov 7, 2016, 7 PM
Oct 26, 2016, 8 PM
Oct 19, 2016, 9 PM
Oct 9, 2016, 9 PM
Oct 6, 2016, 2 PM
Oct 5, 2016, 6:30 PM
Oct 4, 2016, 9 PM
Sep 26, 2016, 9 PM
Sep 23, 2016, 3 PM
Sep 21, 2016, 7 PM
Sep 16, 2016, 5 PM
Aug 23, 2016, 12 PM
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