Sightings of new media artist Adrian Pijoan have been reported at UFO festivals, Bigfoot conferences and in the dark recesses of YouTube video commentary.
This paranormal explorer will show his work at the Harwood Art Center through Sept. 15. Organizers paired his work with “Holy Land” by Diego Medina.
Pijoan’s 8-minute film “Slow Dance” is the show’s installation centerpiece, around which revolves sculptures and videos.
“I’ve been making videos for a decade now,” the Albuquerque artist said.
Most of these were do-it-yourself, low budget projects, he explained. Funding from the city’s Urban Enchantment Trust Fund finally helped him go professional. He hired actors and a crew.
“It features this character I’m portraying, Dr. Howard,” Pijoan explained. “He’s a paranormal investigator.”
Howard enters a bar and sits down to a drink when the magic happens.
“He slips through a portal and the bar is full of aliens,” Pijoan said. “I do the costumes. Mothra is there; a reptilian alien is there.
“He has this romantic encounter with Bigfoot. It’s a loving and funny homage.”
Pijoan has long been fascinated by low-budget, grade B movies, the kind where hubcaps double for spaceships.
“I find, at its core, whether or not the events happened is not important to me,” he said. “It’s the way our dreams and desires and fears are central to our stories of the unknown.”
At Bigfoot conferences, attendees refer to the creature with reverence, Pijoan said.
“People speak about him almost as a lover or religious figure.”
Personally, Pijoan claims agnosticism.
“I’ve had strange experiences in my life that drew me into this subculture; there’s such a huge UFO culture here,” he explained. “I do believe people have experiences that are true. I don’t know if they reflect an external reality.”
Appropriately born on Halloween in Minneapolis, Pijoan attended the University of New Mexico, where he earned his master’s in fine arts degree in art and ecology in 2016. In the fall, he will teach at UNM in Taos.
“The past few years have been difficult for all of us,” he said, adding that he contracted COVID two months ago, the source of his nightmare.
“I get a lot of sustenance from these stories,” Pijoan explained. “It provides me with a lot of joy.”