College of Fine Arts

The UFO Show

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 identificationof 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 an 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
College Of Fine Arts
Campus Box 5600
Center for Visual Arts 116
Normal, Il 61790-5600
Phone: (309) 438-8321
Fax: (309) 438-8318

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