The Daily Pic
Blake Gopnik's Latest Sightings

The Daily Pic: Blake Gopnik's Latest Sightings

Daily Pic: Jacqueline Hoang Nguyen and a Qualified Welcome to Canada

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This is a vintage image from a lovely show of documents collected by the Canadian artist Jacqueline Hoang Nguyen, now on view in the Bushwick non-profit Momenta Art. The documents come from St. Paul, Alberta, where, on the occasion of Canada’s centennial in 1967, the tiny town built what it called the world’s first “UFO Landing Pad.” This curious little construction was part-and-parcel of the “it’s a small world” attitude Canada adopted back then. Paul Hellyer, the defense minister (!), declared it a “symbol of Western hospitality.” (And why shouldn’t space aliens be able to land on a platform the size of a bandstand?)

Of course, St. Paul’s generosity toward extraterrestrials takes on a slightly different color when considered in light of the immigration quotas then in place in the country — especially when considered by a French-speaking Vietnamese Quebecer like Nguyen.

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