That Brooklyn Bridge Flag Stunt Was Actually Performance Art

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BKEMBEDPhoto: Courtesy of Mischa Leinkauf and Matthias Wermke.
Remember that stunt last month involving two white flags on top of the Brooklyn Bridge? Turns out it wasn't an act of terrorism or an expression of anti-American sentiments. It was actually a piece of performance art.

Two German artists, Mischa Leinkauf and Matthias Wermke, have recently claimed responsibility for the semi-frightening antic, citing their desire to "celebrate the beauty of public space." The duo has famously utilized public spaces and landmarks in their previous work, including skyscrapers and bridges in Tokyo and Vienna as well as Berlin's subway system. Their latest piece, however, named American White Flags, initiated a reaction that they found shocking.

"From our Berlin background, we were a little surprised that it got the reaction it did," Leinkauf told The New York Times. "We really didn’t intend to embarrass the police. We saw the bridge, which was designed by a German, trained in Berlin, who came to America because it was the place to fulfill his dreams, as the most beautiful expression of a great public space. That beauty was what we were trying to capture."

Beauty or not — and despite the pair's official statement — the investigation by the NYPD and district attorney is still ongoing. But, will the police be able to see the light in this cultural expression? (The New York Times)