Aliens on The Border
Secret Gallery, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Born out of a forfeiture of land more than a century and a half ago, Chicano/a and Mexican-American identity has long been put into question over its place in the fabricated American racial order, resulting in deeply embedded and embodied feelings of alienation, assimilation, invasion, otherness, and imaginary borders; all common and undeniable themes in science fiction. I propose that nearly all Chicano/a stories can be read through a sci-fi lens. When confronted by the underlying pull of U.S. assimilation, people of color lean on the resilience of their cultural identities to simultaneously pursue independent style while still honoring the aesthetics of their communities. Chicanafuturist author, Gloria Anzaldua, references Chicanx people often feeling “alienated from their mother culture, and alienated from their dominant culture.” This exhibit explores these notions of Chicano/a’s as the alien/other, both adapting to and resisting the(ir) new world. I abstractly invoke various Mexican/Chicano/a subcultures and examine the cracks between worlds, race, gender, the linearity of time, and the societal/cultural boundaries of the human body. Through the use of sculpture and painting inspired by family portraits, a fictional alien race is manifested and observed. This exhibition is Raza-SciFi, reinterpreting the concept of the “alien,” and pushing for a sci-fi deconstruction of colonial imagery.