Jacqueline Hoang Nguyen’s research-based installation Space Fiction & the Archives, 2012, brings together archival documents, memorabilia, newspaper articles, photographic images, sculpture and the film 1967: A People Kind of Place. Recalling the seemingly absurd construction in 1967 of a UFO landing pad in St. Paul, Alberta, as part of Canada’s Centennial celebrations, Nguyen posits a relationship between science fiction and multiculturalism. Symbolically welcoming the world, including intergalactic beings, the landing pad serves as a vessel to address the implementation of immigration policies and the formation of multiculturalism as a foundation of Canadian identity.
The works presented here include the immigration policy point-base system of 1967 engraved on six black Plexiglas panels, an enlargement of an aerial photograph of St. Paul, which allows the viewer to locate the pad (and thus attest to its veracity), a light box depicting the landing pad, as well as the nineteen-minute film. Structured as an alien’s journey to earth, 1967 is a fictionalized audiovisual archive that seamlessly and evocatively combines news footage, home cinema and quotes from Buckminster Fuller, Marshall McLuhan and Richard Day as a way of critically questioning Canada’s conception of itself as a open and welcoming society.