Jeffrey Gibson presents Nothing is Eternal, a newly commissioned video with musical composition. Conceived during this pandemic era, the immersive video work depicts the American flag in unsettling stillness, as a marker of territory, and projected onto bodies, while set to a heartrending soundtrack. At once melancholic and beautiful, Gibson renders the iconic image of the flag as both elastic and unyielding. The slow transformation through time, color, and form reflects both a distillation of our social collapse and the reinvention of self and community, referencing the movement and change that is so desired for this nation.
“Nothing is Eternal tracks my impulses during this time,” says Jeffrey Gibson, who began working on the video at the beginning of the COVID–19 pandemic, amidst global uncertainty; the unjust police killings of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and many other Black individuals; and the growing unrest and division in the United States. “My attempts to stabilize myself, to see myself, to see others, to feel, and to try and focus and not lose sight that there is a future on the other side of this particular moment. The challenge is to not hold on too tight, to not retreat into our past habits and comfort zones, and to allow change to happen even if it makes us feel destabilized and uncomfortable. We may be in this space for a while. Please remember Audre Lorde’s words: ‘Each time you love, love as deeply as if it were forever only, nothing is eternal.’”