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Exhibition: Past Temporary AllegianceMay 27, 2005–Dec 31, 2011

Steve Reinke


Please Note: Temporary Allegiance is an ongoing project at Gallery 400. The dates above are inaccurate due to web form error. We appreciate your patience as we continue to improve our website.

Temporary Allegiance, a project initiated by Philip von Zweck, is a 25-foot flagpole on the campus of UIC located at 404 S. Peoria, between CUPPA Hall and the Eisenhower Expressway/Blue Line train. The flagpole is open for the use of people in the greater-Chicago area on a first-come-first-served basis for the period of one week. (the initial project web page) explained that the initiative “seeks to provide the community with a democratized space that fosters expression free of the veil of anonymity.” In an effort to encourage the flag makers to take responsibility for their creations, their contact information is given to people interested in responding to their flags.

As Mike Wolf wrote in the exhibition essay:

A changing flag is more appealing than an honorary street or more advertising because it could open up more space for disenfranchised voices. Certainly there are limitations, it ’s only a flag, for one thing. Can you overcome the social and economic blockages that exclude some people? This question is important because I want to think of this changing flag as an experiment in democracy, or more accurately, an experiment in micro-democracy. ‘Micro-democracy ’ is a term for a commitment to realizing democratic decision-making principles in small communities, households, or work places, despite those localities possibly being subjugated to greater systems that may not be democratic ones. Micro-democracy might be a way of making a little social equality where there is none, or where there just isn ’t enough. Micro-democracy puts the onus on all of us to understand the needs of the people we are in contact with to negotiate our survival.

To submit your own flag to Temporary Allegiance read the submission instructions in our interact section.


Philip von Zweck


Temporary Allegiance is supported by the College of Architecture and the Arts, University of Illinois at Chicago, and a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.