23 November, 2006

Alien Nation - London

17 November 2006 – 14 January 2007

Institute of Contemporary Arts
The Mall
London SW1Y 5AH
Phone: +44 (0)20 7930 3647

Participating Artists:
Laylah Ali, Hamad Butt, Edgar Cleijne, Ellen Gallagher, David Huffman,
Hew Locke, Marepe, Henna Nadeem, Kori Newkirk, Yinka Shonibare MBE,
Eric Wesley, Mario Ybarra Jr.

Curated by: John Gill, Jens Hoffmann, Gilane Tawadros

Alien Nation is an ambitious and thought-provoking exhibition co-produced by the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) and the Institute of International Visual Arts (inIVA) that explores the complex relationship between science fiction, race and contemporary art.

Much has been written about the connection between sci-fi cinema of the 1950s and ‘60s and the Cold War, where fear of invasion, communism and nuclear war was played out in films that projected the anxieties of the present onto the future. In recent years many artists have similarly used science fiction and extra-terrestrial forms as a way of exploring racial difference and as a potent metaphor for the threat of the outsider.

Alien Nation is curated by John Gill, Jens Hoffmann and Gilane Tawadros and presents the work of twelve contemporary international artists all of whom explore themes of ‘otherness’ and ‘difference’ through the language and iconography of sci-fi. The witty and provocative artworks on display encompass film, sculpture, photography, installation, drawing and painting and expose a disturbing contemporary narrative in which the media perpetuate a terror of ‘invasion’ from immigrants and asylum seekers (indeed any racial, cultural or ethnic ‘other’), positioning such ‘outsiders’ as the dominant threat to both family and national stability.

Mingling fact and fiction, science and art, Alien Nation will also include a collection of original sci-fi film posters from the 1950s as well as extracts from archive science fiction films that reveal our innermost fears and fantasies about the outsider.

This exhibition will be accompanied by a significant publication co-published by the ICA, inIVA and Hatje Cantz, which can be ordered through the ICA book shop and by mail order via the inIVA website.

Institute of Contemporary Arts
The Mall
London SW1Y 5AH
Phone: +44 20 7930 3647
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7306 0122
Email: info@ica.org.uk

Institute of International Visual Arts
6-8 Standard Place
Rivington Street
London EC2A 3BE
Phone: +44 (0) 20 7729 9616
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7729 9509
Email: info@iniva.org

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