January 18 - February 28

On display from the roof of the Arts Council of Princeton’s Paul Robeson Center for the Arts, 102 Witherspoon Street, Princeton


Photo: Guillaume Ziccarelli

The Arts Council of Princeton presents UNTITLED 2017 (FEAR EATS THE SOUL) (WHITE FLAG)  by Rirkrit TiravanijaConceived in response to unrest in our political climate, there is equal – if not more – urgency to present Tiravanija’s flag in 2021 during such a tumultuous time in our nation.


Tiravanija’s piece was created as part of Creative Time’s Pledges of Allegiance, a nationwide public art project that commissioned sixteen flags, each created by acclaimed contemporary artists. Each flag embodies art’s ability to channel political passion, points to an issue the artist is passionate about, and speaks to how we might move forward collectively as a country.

The message of Rirkrit Tiravanija’s flag is a reference to German filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s film “Ali: Fear Eats the Soul”. Fassbinder’s two lead characters, a German cleaner and a Moroccan mechanic, meet in the film’s opening scene and commence an unlikely relationship that brings out their own deepest fears as much as the xenophobia and racism of their surroundings.

The Arts Council displays Tiravanija’s work in Downtown Princeton beginning on Martin Luther King Day and throughout Black History Month to remind us all that fear is the root of all hate.
The Arts Council is located in Princeton’s historic Witherspoon-Jackson Neighborhood. When the Arts Council of Princeton renovated and reopened the building at the intersection of Witherspoon Street and Robeson Place on June 5, 2008, it was christened the Paul Robeson Center for the Arts after the world-renowned scholar, singer, actor, and human rights activist who was born in the house across the street. Before it became home to the Arts Council, the building was, for many years prior to desegregation, home to the “Colored YMCA”. It also served for a time as a community center for the W-J Neighborhood, which remained primarily African-American through the 1970s. Learn more at princetonwjhcs.org.

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