the sun never sets

PAUL MCDEVITT / GB

*1972, lives and works in Berlin

The ostentatious saying that “the sun never sets on the British empire” has been used to describe the vast sphere of influence the British built by essentially sailing around the world and sticking flags into beaches already populated by other people. Despite the fact that this empire largely disintegrated in the 20th century, the sun surprisingly hasn’t yet set. Britain today still holds 14 territories, such as the Cayman Islands or the notorious Pitcairn Islands with a population of a few dozen people; the descendants of the mutineers from the HMS Bounty. Eternal daylight will actually continue until one of these tiny places leaves the union or experiences an eclipse.Paul McDevitt’s flag with its distorted sunbeams seems to reflect exactly that, as it reminds one of a Union Jack that sinks into the sea like the sun. As a British artist in the project Showing True Colour, McDevitt saw no way of avoiding the Brexit issue. This gives one possibility to interpret the flag. As a symbol of a state that is about to leave the European Union, for reasons that may turn out to be pure hubris.


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