Sightings of unusual aerial phenomena date back to antiquity, but the term UFO Unidentified Flying Object, was popularized in 1947 when an U.S.A. pilot flying watched several saucer-shaped objects.
Recent events such as the poisoning and death of Litvinenko spy, and the first conviction for treason and espionage in Spain in the XXI century, brought back to mind the Cold War espionage era. The current espionage, little related to the confrontation between capitalism and communism, happens in a context of criticism of the capitalist system after the recent economic collapse and financial crisis, as well as in a race for control of the technologies and the resurgence of discussions on the use of nuclear energy.
The UFO Archive project develops a metaphorical espionage dialogue between two times: a past and hidden time behind the Iron Curtain and our present time. The term Unidentified Flying Object, the acronym U.F.O. is used here as a metaphor for the impossibility of making public or disclosing documents pertaining to the security-privacy-of a nation. The project displays documents, photographs of peculiar objects and other files related to the world of espionage, taking into account the impossibility of these to be completely legible, for in them is hidden an essential part of the information.
Nine pie pans for a myth. Rosell Meseguer’s Ovni Archive
Olga Fernández López
Ovnis [Ufos] are an unmistakable imaginary product, with a function that is purely allegorical, contrary to submarines, rockets, bombs and other aerospatial, naval or arm industry elements. During the Second World War, sightings were usually referred to as foo-fighters, a term indicative of the influence that popular culture was to have in the construction of the new modern imaginary. The non-sense of the word “foo”, transformed into a graphic signifier in the Smokey Stover comic strip, (a process characteristic of the 1930s), underwent a visual translation to nominate the bright balls of fire that pilots started to see in the aerial battlefield and that were considered Nazi potential secret arms. However, the most disconcerting fact was the sighting of unclassifiable artifacts in the U.S. sky, converted from war weapons into everyday objects. In this regard, it is significant the popularization of the term “flying saucer” after the report by businessman Kenneth Arnold, when he tried to describe what he had seen from the plane he was piloting in June 1947.
Fictions of a past present
""There is a very strange animal called man who needs a type of fiction that calls truth"
What is the story of our time?, to which narrative can we give real credit?... those are questions that, in sum, we refer to the eternal question about the reality from Plato to Matrix, through Descartes or Orson Welles, among many others.
The latter told the history of those 22 paintings with nudes of Oja Kodar, paintings that were celebrated in Paris by critics shouting "Picasso has returned to birth", while the artist from Malaga was furious at his studio in Toussaint, he didn´w recognize as his own works, those pictures could have been painted by the dying grandfather of Oja, a great counterfeiter able to create a new period of Picasso. This is the farce that concluded F for Fake, the mockumentary carried out by the conjurer Welles on one of history's best-known counterfeiters: Elmyr d'Hory, and also on the false biography of Howard Hughes by Clifford Irving, who in turn discovered d'Hory.
Securing the Evidence
In her photographic work, Spanish artist Rosell Meseguer repeatedly deals with the transformation of places and architectures shaped by history, which have lost their original function during the social, political and technological developments since the mid 20th century. On elaborate research trips, Meseguer visits former bunkers, military fortifications on the coast, closed-down mines, coal pits and whale hunting stations in order to document such abandoned scenarios. Meseguer always supplements her photographic series with found, anonymous historical images so that a reference, a dialogue evolves between the ages. The techniques that Meseguer employs – in addition to digital photography – include numerous historical photographic processes such as calotype (brown printing), cyanotype (blue printing), and rubber printing. The noticeably long periods of time over which the artist realises her individual projects give some indication of the methodical approach employed. Considerable collections of material are made in the case of many works, which reflects the artist’s extremely time-consuming research, documenting and arranging activity. Her scientific-artistic gathering and securing of clues serves a reconstruction of collectively remembered historical events and conditions as well as their individual recounting and repetition.