people the We

  • Adrian Aguilera, M.F.A. in Creative Visual Arts, 2025
  • Hometown

    Austin, Texas
  • Website

    Adrian Aguilera

people the We is a collaborative exhibition by artists Adrian Aguilera and Betelhem Makonnen of works that cultivate their continuous curiosity about the relationship between symbols and collective identity, transnationality and diaspora perspectives, and history's inextricable hold on the present. The collection of works — reimagined US flag, video installations, and a large wall vinyl — conflate the past with the future and the analog with the digital, delving into foundational discussion of American citizenship. Who belongs and who doesn't? Whose dreams are whose nightmares? How can notions of nationhood be projected as a process rather than a settled thing, place, or entity? Can symbols prone to discovery, conquest, and subjugation be reimagined as instruments for new forms of social constructions and, thus, the creation of futures that acknowledge the personhood of all citizens?

people the We focuses on fundamental assumptions about American identity and citizenship by reimagining national symbols, prompting viewers to consider new ideas and unfamiliar perspectives to re-envision America as a dynamic work in progress. For instance, the reimagining of the US flag as a 'green screen' evokes possibility by metaphorically creating an undefined space of hope and potential. It invites participation and imagination by asking how we might identify as a nation through lived practice rather than mere symbols. Collectively, the works presented propose what it could mean to be connected across differences while being grounded in unique stories, compelling you to question — what futures can become possible through such connections?

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