Creative Time is a New York-based nonprofit arts organisation. It was founded in 1973 to support the creation of innovative, site-specific, socially engaged artworks in the public realm, particularly in vacant spaces of historical and architectural interest. Over the past four decades, Creative Time has commissioned and presented ambitious public art projects with thousands of artists throughout New York City, across the country and around the world. Their work is guided by three core values: that art matters, that artists’ voices are important in shaping society, and that public spaces are places for creative and free expression. They are acclaimed for the innovative and meaningful projects they have commissioned, and they are committed to presenting important art for our times and engaging broad audiences that transcend geographic, racial, and socioeconomic barriers.
On June 14th – Flag Day, 2017, Creative Time announced the launch of Pledges of Allegiance, a serialised commission of sixteen flags created by acclaimed artists. From its inception, and in response to the current political climate, Pledges of Allegiance aimed to inspire a sense of community among cultural institutions and to begin articulating the urgent responses that our political moment demands.
Each flag points to an issue the artist is passionate about, a cause they believe is worth fighting for, and speaks to how we might move forward collectively.
Participating artists include Tania Bruguera, Alex Da Corte, Jeremy Deller, Latoya Ruby Frazier, Ann Hamilton, Robert Longo, Josephine Meckseper, Marilyn Minter, Vik Muniz, Jayson Musson, Ahmet Ögüt, Yoko Ono, Trevor Paglen, Pedro Reyes, Rirkrit Tiravanija, and Nari Ward.
Thus far, thirteen flags have been raised at varying times in public spaces over the course of a year. At the time the first flag was displayed, Nato Thompson, then Creative Director of Creative Time, stated, “We realized we needed a space to resist that was defined not in opposition to a symbol, but in support of one, and so we created a permanent safe space for our flags to fly.”
Pledges of Allegiance is presented by Creative Time and was originally conceived by Alix Browne and developed in collaboration with Cian Browne, Fabienne Stephan, and Opening Ceremony.
Since June 2017, institutions that have joined the project include 21c Museum Hotel in Durham, NC, Atlanta Contemporary, Blue Star Contemporary in San Antonio, California College of the Arts, the Commons in partnership with Spencer Museum of Art in Lawrence, KS, Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University, the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage at Brown University, KMAC in Louisville, KY, Light City in Baltimore, MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA, Mid-America Arts Alliance in Kansas City, MO, MOCA Detroit, the Pratt Institute in New York, Rhode Island School of Design Museum, Space 538 in Portland, Texas State Galleries in San Marcos, TX, the Union for Contemporary Art in Omaha, NE, the Institute for Research in Art at the University of South Florida, the Wassaic Project, New York, and the Zimmerli Art Museum of Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ.