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As part of the artist’s social practice, the “Native Flags” project, initiated by Xavier Cortada in 2008, serves to have its participants make a literal declaration of war against climate change, as well as making a symbolic gesture of reclamation by nature.
Seen throughout Cortada’s work is a focus on developing signifiers within communities. In “Native Flags”, the green project flag that accompanies the performance behaves as a statement of reclamation, a point of departure for participants to initiate new action. In turn, the environmental impact of “Native Flags” is amphibolic, as it not only terraforms the urban landscape, an action against climate change through the initiation of a natural tree canopy, it also spurs conversation throughout various communities for other actions to be taken. All 12 of Cortada’s “Native Flags” prints are in the collection of the University of Miami’s Miami Herbert Business School.
Xavier Cortada, “Native Flags: Live Oak,” archival ink on paper (signed, numbered, limited-edition print, edition of 5), 8” x 12”, 2008.