Dear Aliens, We Are Ready
Dear Aliens, We Are Ready is an adventurous multi-modality show and a laboratory which offers a catalogue of possible practices to take us into deep space, far beyond our pandemic, isolated selves, while pointing towards new ways to engage with sites, non-sites, the digital and the global.
The project starts from Tecate, that - with its holy mountain, Cuchumá - is a spiritual adjunct and a portal to Tijuana's stern, fluid, industrious locality. From these lands, in the current atmosphere of crisis, due to a heightened distrust in human affairs, nature has beamed a rescue signal to the Outer Space hoping that aliens can come to Earth and fix things. The artists involved in the project employ a mix of paradoxical investigation and sober surrealism in order to establish links of communication between living creatures, inanimate beings, and extraterrestrials in the big void.
Out of metaphor, the project explores the limitation of international understanding that can be reinforced through distance. In particular, it opens a dialogue between a yet unexplored border comparison: Mexico and post-Brexit UK. Contemporary visual art practices based either in Baja California, Europe and UK are brought into a geopolitical framework that defines dichotomic relations deeply ingrained into dynamics of power. The idea of distance, alienation and virtuality is applied to unmask the dialectical and ideological agenda for competition and hegemony that is leading to a dramatic amplification of the cliché of national identity, paranoia for safety narratives and polarising inequalities.
Virtual public programme
To coincide with the exhibition, the director of Pastor Projects and curator of the show, Thomas Vann-Altheimer, with the support of LOOKING FORWARD, will be in conversation with the artists for video interviews to be premiered during online live events in the second half of April 2021. The public programme will offer insights on the practice of the seven artists involved in the show.
In June 2021, Empathy & Risk, with the support of Sheffield Hallam University and the Global Challenge Research Fund will curate a three-part symposium, THE OTHER Dialogues, articulating inter-disciplinary debate exploring the limitation of international understanding that can be reinforced through distance. The three parts will relate to the topics of nationalism, labour and gentrification. A press release with the programme of the symposium and registration modalities will follow separately.
Images from the exhibition, critical texts and the contributions part of THE OTHER Dialogues interdisciplinary symposium will be collated in a book published by Abismos Editorial & Empathy & Risk, edited by Carolina Lio and Sidharta Ochoa.
Monica Arreola, David Cotterrell, Ryan Gander, Mariel Miranda, Irma Sofía Poeter, Gro Sarauw, and Alejandro Zacarias
exhibition curator: Thomas Van Altheimer (Pastor Projects) - public programme curated by Looking Forward and Empathy & Risk
Pastor Projects, Instituto de Cultura de Baja California, Empathy & Risk, Abismos Editorial, IBERO Universidad Iberoamericana, Sheffield Hallam University, Global Challenge Research Fund
Apr 9 - Jun 20 2021
Galería de la Ciudad, Instituto de Cultura de Baja California
Pte. Ortíz Rubio s/n esq. Callejón Libertad, Centro
CP 21400, Tecate, Baja California
exhibition, public programme, publication