2019 - Ongoing
Switzerland; Zurich, Switzerland; Berlin, Germany
In Schmidrüti, a small Swiss village outside Zürich, lives the only person who is in contact with intelligent aliens. That is what "Billy" Eduard Albert Meier, a 82 year old Swiss man, claims. As proof he serves an extensive collection of photographs and videos, which show spaceships and other traces of aliens in unusually high quality.
In his so called "Contact Reports", transcripts of Meyer's alleged conversations with a Pleiadian called Semjase, he prophesies, among other things, the extinction of mankind due to overpopulation and provides explanations on innumerable questions and phenomena. But not only do the Pleiadians know about our future, they also know about our past: Jesus, Galileo Galilei and Isaac Newton, they all had contacts with aliens and, according to Billy, are misrepresented by our history books.
Despite extensive criticism concerning the authenticity of Meier's photographs, his followers around the world insist on their authenticity. The series "Semjase’s Friend" plays with this uncertainty as a state of mind: Are we alone in the universe or are they already among us? And what about the relationship of photography to fiction?
We see and we believe - despite knowing about possible manipulations. We doubt and yet become accomplices: Billy really saw them, because the photographs bear witness to that… Though photography, Meier has constructed a fictive reality that, as a coherent knowledge system, provides answers and possible solutions to urgent real questions. By combining documentary photographs with found footage and staged photographs, the series questions the inherent indexical potential of photography and the simultaneous uncertainty about fiction and reality.