Disco Volante examines archival material of UFO sightings in Aotearoa New Zealand. This exhibition presents a series of photographs, a moving image work and a zine publication, exploring several threads around UFO sightings written about in official records.
Since ‘the great airship flap’ in 1909, reported sightings of unknown objects flying over Aotearoa have been constant. The New Zealand Defence Force began keeping records on UFO sightings in 1952, along with numerous civilian organisations dedicated to researching the origins of these sightings.
Caryline Boreham has worked with these and other UFO archival records from Aotearoa since 2016, using the accounts, visual descriptions and correspondence as a foundation for her ongoing project. With an interest in the people and characters as sources, Boreham explores a psychology of seeing, rather than what has been seen.
Boreham includes text descriptions from eyewitness accounts, ephemeral material from correspondence between The Ministry of Defence and Mr H E Wright (a long-time agitator for the investigation into UFO sightings in Aotearoa) as well as recontextualised footage as a video work, sourced from analysed video frames in TV1’s investigative coverage of the Kaikoura lights on 3 Jan 1979, possibly New Zealand’s most famous UFO sighting.
In working with these artefacts, Boreham plays with a space between the event and its recounting, where the actual UFO sighting becomes secondary to the conviction of its truth.
About Caryline Boreham
Caryline Boreham is an artist and educator based in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, working across photography, moving image and archival material.
Boreham is the winner of the 2021 National Contemporary Art Award and twice nominated for the Prix Pictet international photography award. Currently, she works as a lecturer on the BFA and post graduate programmes at Whitecliffe.