[-empyre-] Coda: Tif Robinette

christina at christinamcphee.net christina at christinamcphee.net
Sat Aug 13 05:10:03 AEST 2016

Tif Robinette: favorite quote

"I didn’t grow up seeing Confederate flags daily until I moved to southern Virginia in my late teens. Monuments to fallen confederate soldiers, *southern and proud* bumper stickers, rebel flags waving from front porches, and Dixieland bikinis drooping from wire hangers at the flea market were all
ubiquitous symbols of the self-claimed disenfranchised whites of the South. Redneck pride (a term popularized during the West Virginia coal wars, actually, because the miners wore red bandanas around their necks to avoid shooting one another) is now being critiqued by Republicans as an identity politics based faction of the conservative party. The repositioning withinpolitical thought of the reclaimed pejorative term “redneck” as a minority with specific political and social aims has centered on the debate of the erection or censorship of what is now known as the Confederate flag.

The confederate flag is the most censored, legislated, and politicized emblem in America today. Articles are written almost daily surrounding the production, removal, or erection of this polarizing symbol. A 2015 Gallup poll found that almost three-fourths of black Americans consider the symbol
racist and almost two-thirds of white Americans see it as a symbol of pride and heritage. Kanye appropriates it and says “It’s my flag now. Now what are you going to do?” Walmart stops selling it.

The Dixie flag, originally a battle flag of the secessionist South in support of slavery, then a political symbol in support of segregation, is now appropriated by a wider cross-section of America as a battle flag of cultural resistance to a rapidly non-white majority population. This
“resistance”, I would argue, is not only for a white supremacy, but for a white *male* supremacy. The boundaries of identity relating to heritage, geography, or lineage dissolve as disgruntled white northerners descend to southern pro-confederate flag protests, and the recent surge of confederate
flags at presidential visits and political rallies across the U.S. indicate that the symbol is morphing into a new call to arms amongst poor white men across the country.

There is an increasing nostalgia for a fictional time when all white men were prosperous and powerful. Working class white men with a chip on their shoulder are flocking to the symbol of a secessionist south, a rebel state within the borders of the US where DC, NYC, and LA are cut off. This
intangible rebel state is a strange reflection of the original rebellion. A Civil War that divided the nation, based on 5% of the Confederacy’s population insistence on their right to buy, sell, and keep slaves, was fought primarily by southern poor whites and conscripted slaves. While all
able bodied men between the ages of 17-50 were drafted, wealthy Southern men were allowed to pay a working class man to take his place on the battlefront. Today, the same class of men discovered an old ideology with a new pundit’s face and raises their supremacist banner once again.

As a final public performance at the end of the Essential Departures week, I performed an action then durational work titled MudFlaps. It is the beginning of my physical performance based investigation of the Confederate flag. I stuck two mudflap girl silhouette stickers  <http://decalscity.com/products/ruger-gun-rebel-confederate-flag-vinyl-die-cut-decal-sticker>  embedded with the rebel flag on my lower back as both tramp stamps and equating my ass to truck mudflaps.

You can see images of the performance on my Instagram account agrobaby <https://www.instagram.com/agrobaby/> by adding me.

Agrofemme: A durational performance "MudFlaps" in which I filled tire tracks with hose water and fell in a full face plant in the puddle…I tasted mud and blood from a busted lip and blood and snot ran down my throat from a cracked nose. I lay still where I fell as the water absorbed
back into the earth until the sun burnt the negative of the decals into my back. People walked by snapping photos in forensic curiosity. Some peoplewanted to help me. #whitewomenarethefaceofracism <https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/whitewomenarethefaceofracism/>
#rosekillfarm  <https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/rosekillfarm/> @graceexhibitionspace <https://www.instagram.com/graceexhibitionspace/ > #essentialdepartures <https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/essentialdepartures/>  “




Christina McPhee


insta: naxqqsmash

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