I Don't Believe in Aliens
XVIII Century Travel Guide fragments and C-print
In the work I Don´t Believe in Aliens (2006) Guillén employs four lithographs illustrating the first German guide to Mexico, published in the 18th century. The fond images all depict an idyllic landscape, usually with volcanoes and a lush valley where some travelers are caught admiring the exotic surroundings. Guillén has cut out a rhomboid shape from every print, evicting any human presence from the image. In a cleaning operation not dissimilar from the CIA´s 'Extraordinary Rendition', the undesired alien, is extradited and forced out of the picture. The work combines in the same frame a photograph of the book showing the modified pages juxtaposed to the 'real' 18th century cut-out relic side by side. The colonial figure of the explorer conquering a New Continent and the current US fixation with homeland protection against any external menaces are equated here, with the effect of doubling the contradiction implicit in the provisional notion of frontiers as the human articulation of power in space.