Alex Boeschenstein: Visionary Rumor 

Roswell Artist-in-Residence Exhibition

Samuel H. Marshall & Donald Winston Gallery

August 19 – November 5, 2023

Artist Talk and Reception: Friday, August 25, 5:30-7 p.m.

Click HERE for link to Facebook Live Artist Talk on August 25.

In Carl Jung’s final book Flying Saucers, he describes the UFO phenomenon as a “visionary rumor.” Jung’s variation differs from an ordinary rumor in that it owes its existence to and is kept alive by visions that are frequently experienced collectively, is corroborated by multiple individuals, and is preceded by an “unusual emotion” emanating from a deeper source which intensifies and flashes into seeing. Whether emerging from physical reality, a distortion of physical phenomena, or an entirely subjective hallucination, these visions, by virtue of their strangeness and intensity, disseminate through stories that parallel preexisting narrative traditions and structures, crisscrossing and spilling into geopolitics, cultural histories, and ecological systems.

The Southwestern United States is especially rich in visionary rumors. During his time in the Roswell Artist-in-Residence program, Alex Boeschenstein has made inquiries into this Southwestern uncanny: where it emerges from and how to articulate latticework representations of it as conceptual aids. Here, the horizon enfolds you, the sky feels like a vast dome placed over the earth, the stars shimmer at you like an accusation, and so much is beautifully visible—an elaborate black box supported by baroque systems of secrecy circumscribes the landscape and the sky. 

Through photos, prints, and drawings, Boeschenstein’s exhibition ratchets this tension by conflating the conventions of documentary photography, graphic novels, astrological infographics, and x-ray imaging. The patchwork archive of nuclear weapons laboratories, missile testing ranges, abandoned airfields, wartime geoglyphs, radio telescopes pointed toward black holes, mountains holding the alleged treasures of early pioneer grifters, yuccas growing in the charred aftermath of the first atomic bomb test, and mysterious lights in the sky conspire to broadcast an amalgamated vision of the Southwestern uncanny. 

Alex Boeschenstein (b. 1988, Cleveland, OH), is an interdisciplinary artist based out of Roswell, NM. He received a BA in Interdisciplinary Visual Art at the University of Washington in 2015 and an MFA in Transmedia and Print at the University of Texas in 2022. Recent solo exhibitions include Fields of Irisarri at Shoreline Community College, Shoreline, WA and Too Many Cunning Passages at Glass Box Gallery in Seattle, WA. He has exhibited work nationally at the Visual Arts Center in Austin, Texas and King Street Station in Seattle, WA, amongst others.

Exhibition and related programs presented in partnership with the Roswell Artist-in-Residence Foundation.

Boeschenstein_Untitled_2023_Stone Lithograph_13x10_small

Top to Bottom: 

Alex Boeschenstein, Untitled, 2023, Stone Lithograph, Courtesy of the Artist.

Alex Boeschenstein, Refillable accessories for bottomless ascent into grand memory lapse (detail), 2022, Installation Including Sulfur, Himalayan Sea Salt, Steel, MDF, Pine, Chalkboard Paint, Chalk, Insignias from CIA-Sponsored Clandestine Operations, Courtesy of the Artist.