Lauri Lyons, Barcelona, Spain Flag International series, 2007
Lauri Lyons, Rome, Italy Flag International series, 2007
Lauri Lyons, London, England Flag International series, 2007
Lauri Lyons, Roubaix, France Flag International series, 2007

Lauri Lyons: Flag International and Flag: An American Story

September 11 – October 11, 2008
Opening Reception: Thursday, September 11, 6-8pm

Umbrella Arts + Projects
317 East 9th Street (between 1st & 2nd Ave)
New York, NY 10003

Both my FLAG series (1995-2007), reveal what is beneath the surface of the American dream by looking beyond statistics and into the minds of ordinary citizens—native-born, naturalized, or foreign—whose feelings about America not only tell the reader what the country is, but also what it should be. Through each subject’s photographs and hand-written statements about America, the reader became aware of the beauty, violence, racism, hope, and inequity that created the American cultural fabric of the late twentieth century. I concluded – ‘As Americans, we are who we choose to be, and that may all change tomorrow.’ That statement was published before 9/11, the Patriot Act, Homeland Security, Abu Ghraib, and before the occupation of Iraq. All these events compelled me to ask, what has become of America?

From 1995 to 2000 I traveled via train across the United States photographing and interviewing people with the American flag. The culmination of my journey is the book Flag: An American Story (2001). During the summer of 2007, I decided to explore Europe with the American flag and investigate how the international community views the United States in the 21st Century. With the American flag, I traveled throughout eight countries via rail, bus, and ferry. The result of my journey is Flag International, a multi-media documentary project which incorporates photography, video, audio, and handwritten text.