cotton, dye, chenille, felt
A tale of two ideas. Reeducation in one definition means brainwashing. In another definition it means instructing again, to change someone’s belief. The contrast of these definitions encapsulates the “War on Drugs” past and future.
The group of 23 assemblages completed in 2015-2016, make up Jimmy DeFlippo’s Reeducation series. The stretched denim canvases and sewn emblems express the nature of repurposing original intentions. The project reflects on education through the twisting of facts and the construction of stereotypes. These themes come together to further question historical choices and their implications on society.
The various English definitions of the words ‘dope’ and ‘high’ are naturally ambiguous in nature. I deliberately used indeterminate words that are very subjective.
The failed “War on Drugs” in America stereotypes individuals who are caught up in this invention; the cop as hero, the drug user as criminal and foreign countries as enablers. This classification based on politics and deceit destroys the possibility of true education and progress.
By collecting vintage varsity letters, I purchased symbols that recognized a specific person. The transactional nature of repurposing the emblem from its original intent gives it value. The castoffs combine to cultivate new connotations.
I chose denim as the material due to its origins in American culture. Denim jeans, democratic, yet fashionable garments, frequently end up discarded and found in second-hand stores. The abandoned material takes on a new life.
Sourced from antique American flags and letterman jackets, the emblematic stars’ purpose shifts. No longer representational, they are simply blps on a canvas, constellations of our own desire.