Library

  • Polixeni Papapetrou Believes in the Power of Imagination

    Delphi,

    As the result of my childhood experience, it was natural to go down the path of exploring issues of identity and otherness in my work. At the start I was photographing homeless people, drag queens, Elvis fans, Marilyn Monroe impersonators and body builders. I was drawn to photographing people who lived on the edge of the conventional mainstream or who deviated from the mainstream archetype. I was interested in ‘otherness’. Despite the diversity in the groups that I photographed what they all had in common was that they were performing their identity, that identity is something that is fluid, malleable and can be constructed. While the representation of identity has been a consistent theme in my work, in the past 15 years I have been exploring portrayals of childhood identity. But more than this I have tried to understand what it means to be human.

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  • A New Photography Book Unmasks Fashion’s Glittery Façade

    Anna Furman, New York Magazine, March 22, 2017

    Named after rapper B.G.’s song “Bling Bling,” the photography book Bling Bling Baby explores intersections of ‘90s hip-hop culture and contemporary fashion in lavish excess. While B.G. describes luxury goods as ultimate symbols of success, the photographers featured in Bling Bling Baby capture glamorous lifestyles with “a twinkle in their eye,” the book’s editor Nadine Barth told the Cut.Published by Hatje Cantz, the collection features striking images from a recent exhibition in Germany alongside Barth’s own poetic musings on diamonds, decadence, and conspicuous levels of consumption. “We say bling bling when the glitz almost hurts,” she writes in the book’s introduction, “when we’re blinded by so much luxury and sparkle.” Each photograph examines aspirational living, as shown in the slideshow ahead: In Polixeni Papapetrou’s Eden series, a young woman holds a lush bouquet of red and violet flowers in front of her face, obscuring her ability to see. An image by Daniel Sannwald takes a similar approach, replacing a model’s eyes with two gleaming pearls that match a gaudy white septum ring in his nose. Both images are vibrantly colorful and somewhat campy, underscoring the message that excess can be blinding.

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  • Greek goddess of Australia: Polixeni Papapetrou

    Jean Paul Gavard Perret, Ragazine, Vol. 12 No. 4

    Ten years ago Polixeni Papapetrou was a victim of a stupid controversy in her country. The pretext was that she photographed her daughter (six-years-old) nude. It was to understand nothing that Polixeni Papapetrou explores. Mainly the theme of the transformation and processing from childhood to adolescence, from adulthood to old age. Her experience of the disease made her even more susceptible to the fragility of the life. The beauty remains the essence of her women’s vision. The creator fights for the freedom of the women and of her own work. The Australian knows how to create a very particular “romanticism”. In the lyric which dissipates the intelligence she prefers the latter while remaining capable of offering feelings. They allow her to take the plunge of past in the present and towards the future, which the work announces subtly within its particular ceremonial.

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  • Polixeni Papapetrou photographs youth, beauty and blooms

    Ella Rubeli, Sydney Morning Herald, 19 August 2016

    Artist Polixeni Papapetrou likens human mortality to the life cycle of flowers: subject to seasons of growth, blossoming, and – inevitably – wilting. Her latest series is so dazzling in beauty and colour that you can sense its imminent ruin. Young women, almost suffocated by garlands of flowers in their "garden of Eden" are suspended in a moment of youth.

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  • Déesse grecque d’Australie : entretien avec Polixeni Papapetrou

    Jean Paul Gavard Perret, Lelitteraire, 21 July 2016

    Il y a une dizaine d’années, Polixeni Papa­pe­trou a été vic­time d’une stu­pide contro­verse dans son pays. Le pré­texte en était qu’elle pho­to­gra­phiait sa fille (à l’époque âgée de six ans) nue. C’était ne rien com­prendre à ce que Polixeni Papa­pe­trou explore. Prin­ci­pa­le­ment, le thème de la trans­for­ma­tion de l’enfance à l’adolescence, de l’âge adulte à la vieillesse.

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  • Time after Time

    Christopher Allen, The Weekend Australian, 25 June 2016, pp.10-11

    Gregg’s juxtapositions are primarily intuitive, that is, based on an aesthetic and imaginative response to the images rather than trying, as is so often the case, to force any interpretative straitjacket on to them. Thus Pieter Brueghel’s etching of an Alpine landscape (c. 1555-56) is paired with Polixeni Papapetrou’s whimsical yet poignant photograph of a figure, high on a mountaintop, with a deer’s head. This is perhaps the riskiest pairing in the show, because the highly saturated photograph is so foreign to the linear etching, but the thematic affinity seems to make it just plausible.

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  • The Elvis cult: photographs of the star’s enduring fans

    Ella Rubeli, The Age, Melbourne, 11 March 2016

    Each year on August 16, a throng of faithful mourners gather in Melbourne cemetery to commemorate the death of their idol: Elvis Presley. They are dressed in leather jackets, some with their hair greased back, most with large bunches of flowers, striking sultry poses in worship of the American star. It was 1985 when photographer Polixeni Papapetrou first encountered this annual ritual and was drawn to document the near-religious-scale cult.

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  • Empty Kingdom

    Empty Kingdom, USA, December 2015

    I was born in Melbourne, Australia, to Greek immigrants. I have lived in Melbourne all my life. I love to visit places all over the world and admire them greatly, but I work best in Melbourne. I have trouble imagining living anywhere else, as the city and the rural character surrounding Melbourne inspire me so much.

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  • The Art of Dying

    Dylan Rainforth, The Age, 8 September 2015, p. 46

    Invited artist Polixeni​ Papapetrou​ has a closer relationship with the idea of mortality than most, having being diagnosed with terminal cancer almost three years ago. "She wanted something positive," Cass says, "and she's made a beautiful, contemplative series using flowers as well as a very iconic image of [her daughter] Olympia."

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  • Polixeni Papapetrou : à l’est de l’Eden

    Jean Paul Gavard Perret, Le Salon Littéraire, July 2015

    Face au Malin (souvent incarné en mâles) Polixeni Papapetrou se fait visionnaire d’une forme de paradis qui ignore la chute des corps féminins. Ils sont porteurs d’espoir, ils deviennent un miracle, une entorse face à la pesanteur du monde. L’artiste offre une sorte de rêve mais dont le romantisme est particulier et en quelque sorte dialectique. Il permet à l’alphabet féminin d’imposer non un logos mais une poésie. Elle devient une méditation sur l’essence du féminin, sa présence face à la barbarie des pouvoirs masculins.

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  • Storm in a Teacup

    Alexandra Manatakis, Neos Kosmos, Weekend edition, 27 June 2015, P. 19

    For some, the most essential form of storytelling is the power of the written word, but for photographer and artist Polixeni Papapetrou, photos can transport the mind into a surreal world of narrative. Through her photographic career spanning more than 20 years, Papapetrou creatively reinforces the importance of the image that carries her style and cultural identity.

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  • Fiction coated truth pill presented

    Dylan Rainforth, The Age, 24 June 2015, p. 40

    Aboriginal culture is based in oral tradition, with Dreamtime stories passed on just as memories of colonial injustices are. It makes sense then for an Australian exhibition to look at history, memory and identity through the frame of storytelling.

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