A souvenir stand dispensing hand-painted souvenirs and guides to the ruins of Washington D.C. for future extra-terrestrial visitors to Earth when the planet has become an uninhabited waterless desert. The alien visitors become the last in a long line of civilizations to fall for the charms of the classical and neoclassical ruins that punctuate the landscape, leading them to speculate about the lost pillar-builders of Earth, who they decide were probably a race of telepathic ocean-dwellers who swam upstream annually to flirt and build pillars.

The stand is modeled on the ubiquitous hand-painted hot dog stands of Washington D.C. and was originally exhibited as part of Ellen Harvey: The Alien’s Guide to the Ruins of Washington D.C. at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. To see the exhibition, click here.

Alien Souvenir Stand, Ellen Harvey, 2013. Oil on aluminum, watercolor on Gessoboard, propane tanks, 10 ft. x 17 x 5’ (3.4 x5.2 x 1.5 m). Photography: Etienne Frossard.

The Alien’s Guide to the Ruins of Washington DC, Ellen Harvey, 2013. Folded 18” (45.7 cm) x 24” (61 cm) prints.