Rebekah Flake uses visual arts and curation to investigate nostalgia and tourism at sites where national identities are exhibited in contemporary culture. Her interdisciplinary practice is based in Philadelphia: the location of the Declaration of Independence and the political birthplace of the American Revolution. She grew up in Mississippi, which has had its own struggle with national definitions. She is specifically interested in places contained within the political boundary of a nation or city.
Through documentary and research-based work, she speaks to the intersection of social history and phenomenological experience at play between the material world and personal identifications with place. In her current body of work, called Niagara Files, she creates images and programming to promote reflection on citizenship in North America. The narrative centers on her claiming Canadian citizenship on the basis of her mother’s birth in British Columbia; however, the project is simultaneously a reflection on the history of migration and settlement on our continent and the extent to which all North Americans can relate to some version of a migration narrative.
She received an MFA in 2014 from Tyler School of Art and an MA in 2009 from the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art.