United We Stand Stand is a performance by Dread Scott and Kyle Goen. In the project, Scott and Goen are vendors operating a stand that sells t-shirt shirts bearing the popular slogan “United We Stand.” The slogan became a rallying cry in the US after the September 11, 2001 attacks, affirming US patriotism and unquestioning acceptance of American wars and occupations. The United We Stand Stand features shirts with this slogan, but unlike the shirts that they reference, these shirts are not be emblazoned with the US flag. Rather the slogan will appear beneath the Iraqi, Afghan, Pakistani and Iranian flags. Scott and Goen attempt to sell the shirts and engage in conversation with the public as they do so.
The performance took place on the sidewalk in New York’s Times Square, a destination of tourists and an icon of America. As an absurd gesture, the performance took the entrepreneurship of street vendors selling inexpensive wares as its foundation. By selling shirts in a public square calling for unity with countries that the US is waging war in or occupying, the performance encourages people to think about patriotism, including but not limited to US patriotism, the moral responsibility of people in the US for the wars waged in our name, consumer culture, fashion and the logic of (petty) capitalism.
The shirts themselves are limited edition screen-printed artworks.