Olivia Lennon Concetta (b. 1988) is an Australian artist who lives and works in Berlin. She graduated from the National Art School in Sydney in 2010, and then started her career as an artist, taking part in numerous exhibitions in Australia, the United States, Germany, and France, including the Los Angeles Centre for Digital Art, Los Angeles, U. S. A.; Vzor Studio with Neuköllner Produktion, Berlin, Germany, and Exgirlfriend Gallery in Berlin, Germany.

 

Lennon's research has recently shifted to issues of political importance, focusing on the necropolitics of the European Mediterranean border. Her last work starts with evidence that most of the marble extracted in Europe comes from today's same areas, the western frontiers, and not the West itself. 

The same places where many people die daily in the hope of crossing that border and reaching everything that Europe represents. Olivia, through a series of visual references, introduces us to a reality that is still little known, for example, the patrolling of the maritime boundaries, which are exercised in a way that is as sophisticated and deadly as, for example, ships and surveillance drones that are way out of legal obligation in international maritime law to directly save a person who is drowning - because a drone can not board the passengers.

Using marble shapes and colours, the Borderstone watercolour series investigates a series of blocking elements, barricades and surveillance tools to criticise new practices and contemporary technologies used at EU borders in the context of the continent's growing ethnic-nationalist politics. Marble thus becomes synonymous with a hardness no longer of extreme charm but becomes solid and hard body due to the constriction and destruction of the same places from which it comes.

Her research is not limited to a visual investigation. The artist uses watercolour to create images, with multiple and meticulous details created through a long and painstaking process made of many layers of watercolour. 

This process helps her interpret the ideas built on paper to have a longer and more careful time of reflection and study than the argument that will be suggested. Lennon always makes use of this technique to conceive of works of different nature and with other interests, with constant attention to details and using long periods on one topic at a time, in such a manner as to be able to enter, with the gesture and the sign, in the different layers that a study requires. 

 

Text by Milena Zanetti

Obeli