On Art

Seven Propositions on Nationalism and Their Corollaries, by Jerry Bleem

When a nephew was sent to Iraq with his army unit, Jerry Bleem, a Fran­cis­can friar who teaches in the department of fiber and material studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, joined the rest of his family in praying for his safety. Bleem wrote: “I thought about patriotism, about how I would describe my allegiance to my country, about the implication of ‘indivisible’ and ‘with liberty and justice for all.’” In a period when flags have been used to express divisions, affirmations, and scorn, the tensions in Bleem’s work reverberate.