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Alien Nation

Catalogue relating to an exhibition, 2006
Published by: ICA/inIVA collaboration
Year published: 2006
Number of pages: 119
ISBN: 1-899846-47-6 (ICA)

image of Alien Nation

Hardbound catalogue (119 pages) published to accompany Alien Nation exhibition, a collaboration between ICA and inIVA, shown at ICA, Manchester City Art Gallery and Sainsbury Centre, Norwich.

Alien Nation is the culmination of a significant artistic, cultural and institutional collaborative effort. This publication and the exhibition it accompanies are the result of the combined curatorial vision of three co-curators: John Gill, Jens Hoffmann and Gilane Tawadros. The scale of current global insecurity and fear may feel unprecedented, but Alien Nation is a timely reminder that today’s anxieties are in fact a frighteningly recurrent theme. In the Cold War narratives of the 1950s and “60s that were played out in science fiction films, fears surrounding a Communist invasion were displaced onto an alien, often racialised, “other“. This exhibition and publication explore what could be considered another chapter in this all too real fiction, as today’s fears about invasion or attack are frequently projected onto migrants, asylum seekers or people of Islamic faith. As is often the case in times of political unrest, it is the artists who point the way out.”

From the preface to the exhibition catalogue, written by Ekow Eshun, Artistic Director, ICA, and Augustus Casely-Hayford, Director inIVA.

Alien Nation explores the complex relationship between science fiction, race and contemporary art. Featuring 12 international contemporary artists, all of whom explore themes of “otherness’ and “difference“ through the language and iconography of sci-fi, this book and the exhibition it accompanies encompass film, sculpture, painting, photography, and multi-media installation. [The book is] illustrated with images of the artists’ work, film stills and archival photographs from the 1950s and 1960s, it includes essays by the curators, interviews with the participating artists and an essay by Professor David A.Mellor on the BBC television series Quatermass. Alien Nation is a significant contribution to our current understanding not only of the science fiction genre but also of the politics of difference.”

From the back cover of the catalogue.

Texts as follows: “We are the Martians“ by Gilane Tawadros and John Gill; The Truth is Out There, by Jens Hoffmann; Murmur: Meditations, Fictions and Forensics for Invisible Americans, by Greg Tate; “The Monstrousness That Reigns Here“: Quatermass and “The Anglicisation of Outer Space“, by David Alan Mellor; “Space Odyssey: A Journey with Others“, by Cylena Simonds; “They Came From Outer Space: Artists in Alien Nation“, by Claire Fitzsimmons. Followed by List of Works, List of Illustrations and Glossary of Extra-terrestrial Beings.

Related people + view all 18

»  Laylah Ali

Born, 1968 in Buffalo, New York, USA

»  John Gill

»  Marepe

Born, 1970 in Bahia, Brazil

»  Kori Newkirk

Born, 1970 in Bronx, New York

»  Mario Ybarra Jr.

Born, 1973

Related exhibitions

Related venues

»  Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA)

London, United Kingdom

»  Manchester City Art Gallery

Manchester, United Kingdom

»  Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts

Norwich, United Kingdom