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Amstelveen, December 5th, 2010

The ‘Flag of Compassion’ - an introductory notice

It is said that the ‘Flag is a means to express the general human feeling of compassion over and above politics, legal causes, religion, race and gender’ and that the ‘Flag of Compassion is a conceptual artwork that functions both within the field of the arts and in human society’ (source: www.flagofcompassion.com). The borders between the art world and human society are thin, as one nourish the other and the other way around. We may be artists, production assistants, art critics, curators, gallerists and, together, our human experience shape our understanding of the world and what we share with it. Human experience is made of good and bad times, of passions and quest for reason, of doubts and humor, thankfully, of love too. When someone stands with the Flag of Compassion for an exhibition or a performance, it is never due fully to what we call ‘chance’. There are many reasons to this act, because it is primarily an act of love. When someone decides to say ‘I love you’ in public through an object as much abstract from any social or political context as possible, it is an act of love, a human action to speak in terms of human beings to other human beings. When there are no words anymore to express the pain or the joy that are so often mixed up in the very same situation, then there has been the Flag of Compassion. It has been my experience as curator at Nieuwe Vide artspace, in Haarlem, when, in December 2009, I have expressed my human experience to the team that I have worked with for one year. It was a discret meeting to close a year of curatorship and there was no word that I could express but the words of Czech writer Milan Kundera, together with the Flag of Compassion.

Emilie Aude Oursel

Curator 2009 Nieuwe Vide artspace, Haarlem (NL)


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