olivier ’19 installs UFO Citing: A tribute to Lynn E. Catoe as the first artist in residence at the Joanne Waxman Library

olivier ’19 recently installed their site-specific piece UFO Citing: A tribute to Lynn E. Catoe in the Joanne Waxman Library stacks, serving as the very first artist in residence for the space. The installation spans the entirety of the library moving from the entrance, where the viewer is met with a collection of books from local Portland bookstores that is now a permanent part of our library, and throughout the library shelves that host sticky notes and plastic sleeves holding documents wedged between books. The immersive and playful nature of the installation lets library-goers discover pieces of information to create unique bibliographies.

The UFO bibliographies I am presenting here are objects with information. These books-as-evidence come from self-published works, translated editions, academic press productions, republications, etc. They all prove something-something about the UFO phenomenon, not exactly able to confess to you what UFOs actually are, but to remind you, ufology is not a subculture, the aliens have already arrived, the library ceiling has fallen, the flying saucers are never going to land.

olivier ’19 is a queer, trans, research-based artist and writer of color who grew up in the aftertaste of colonization in Hong Kong. Currently pursuing graduate studies in visual and critical studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, they also attended the Academy of Visual Arts in Hong Kong Baptist University and received their BFA in painting from Maine College of Art & Design.

In 2020 and 2021, olivier published a critical essay on contemporary cryptozoology in relation to their problematic curatorial practice, and an article on anti-racist research practices within ufology. They have lectured, exhibited, and published works in New England, New York, Chicago, and Hong Kong. Most recently, they have been awarded Clay Morrison Scholarship, and have work on view in Poetics of Process 2022 MECA&D Alumni Triennial at the ICA in Portland, ME.

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