A meditation far more than a statement, this massive 20 page screen printed artist book starts with flags. Flags are paradoxically used as both markers of the internal cohesion of nation or tribe, and also as external proclamations of transformation and utopia. It is this tension that binds this book together. Beginning with MacPhee’s illustrations of flags stacking beneath, piling on, and wrapping around each other, these images become increasingly convoluted and unclear as the pages turn. For the tail end of the book, Purcell works his more playful imagery and textures into the fields of flags, meeting in a middle where all this imagery begins to conflict, contest, and even consume itself.
Josh MacPhee is a designer, artist, and archivist. He is a founding member of both the Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative and Interference Archive, a public collection of cultural materials produced by social movements based in Brooklyn, NY (InterferenceArchive.org). MacPhee is the author and editor of numerous publications, including Signs of Change: Social Movement Cultures 1960s to Now and Signal: A Journal of International Political Graphics and Culture. He has organized the Celebrate People’s History poster series since 1998 and has been designing book covers for many publishers for the past decade.
Jesse Purcell is an artist and designer. He is a member of the Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative and is the founder of Repetitive Press, a screen printing and design studio on Sterling Rd in Toronto’s west end. Purcell’s production focuses on artists books, portfolios and editions while maintaining a commitment to producing visual materials for social movements.