February 29 - April 2, 2000
Appearances of blinking ellipsoids, whirling orbs, and hovering illuminations have been reported throughout history, especially since the onset of atomic warfare and subsequent testing. Whether based in empirical reality, paranoiac projection, false memory, or an innate desire to realize an archetype of wholeness, UFOs have captivated the popular and artistic imagination. The term UFO-first used by the military to define any unidentified object in the sky has been widely adopted by post-1950s society as a synonym for the image of the flying saucer popularized by science fiction books and movies. Paradoxically, the mystery of the "unidentified" in the term is automatically equated with the identification of an extraterrestrial Other, while the "flying object" is as swiftly likened to the very terrestrial image of a saucer-shaped thing. The blurred distinction between the "unidentified" and the identified Other it represents-whether real or imagined-has provided fertile territory for artists fascinated by a sublime form shuttling between the atavistic and media-generated chambers of the collective unconscious. Creating two- and three-dimensional work relating directly or symbolically to discs, saucers and other phenomena associated with UFOs, the artists in this exhibition variously confront a historically ingrained and commercially-reinforced locus of millennial obsession.
Artists: George Blaha, John Brill, Andrew Detskas, Sharon Engelstein, Joy Garnett, Keith Haring, Lance Horenbein, Claire Jervert, Christopher Johnson, Jeremy Kidd, Paul Laffoley, Moriko Mori, Panamarenko, Cynthia Roberts, Kenny Scharf, Ionel Talpazan, Oliver Wasow, Ken Weaver, and Amy Wilson
Curated by Barry Blinderman and Bill Conger
Image: Ken Weaver, Abduction Series: Eternal Return Variation 3. Oil on canvas, 1996.
Illinois State University
January 23 – March 4, 1990
The Arts and Science Center for Southeast Arkansas
Pine Bluff, Arkansas
September 29 - November 27, 2000
Gallery of Contemporary Art
University of Colorado
Colorado Springs, Colorado
December 15, 2000 - February 2, 2001