‘The Perilous Fight’ is a series on display within the depths of the New York subway system showing work by artist Phil America. Through live subway tracks, at the end of abandoned tunnels, cold and far under the city, lies a ‘gallery’ space for no one. A ‘gallery’ space, in the dark, where it is unlikely to ever be seen by eyes that don’t specifically go looking for it.
The works on display in the ‘gallery’ are a series of flag sculptures, created by the artist, each embroidered with guns representing a specific national incident. In this dark, unlikely exhibition space, some flags appear frozen in a moment of being tossed by the wind, despite the still air that surrounds them, while others hang lifelessly. In contrast to their transient placement, unlikely to be seen, the flags are emblematic, serving as a tribute, memory, reminder, and warning of the violence so prevalent in the American national identity.
Each flag is emblazoned with a different gun, with each gun having been implicit in an American massacre. The flags are a tribute, a memory, and a reminder; they are the promise that those lost in these terrible events are not forgotten. They serve to remind that gun violence in America is so prevalent that it has become a part of our national identity.
While each of Phil America’s flags represents a specific national incident, they speak to every single act of violence committed in vain in this country, and throughout the world.