The Shadow Stage

Opening address on occasion of “The Shadow Stage” photographs by Polixeni Papapetrou at Walker Street Gallery and Arts Centre, Melbourne, Australia, Sunday 9 October 2011

It is now ten years since Polixeni Papapetrou has been killing two stones with one bird: namely making beautiful, perceptive and important art whilst making beautiful, perceptive and delightful human beings in the form of her children Olympia and Solomon.… Continued

Tales from Elsewhere

It’s a poor sort of memory that only works backwards

IMAGINATION is a defining trait of the human species. For our hominid ancestors it opened up the concept of past and future, of how it might be from another person’s perspective, of weighing the balance of ‘what if…?’ Yet today it is a commodity about which we have certain ambivalence.

In childhood imagination has free rein.… Continued

Mourning & Melancholia: the clown photographs of Polixeni Papapetrou — Natalie King

Life is only on earth, and not for long.
Kirsten Dunst in Lars Von Trier’s film Melancholia

In Sigmund Freud’s essay ‘Mourning and Melancholia’ (1914-1916) 1, written in collaboration with his daughter Anna Freud, he charts a correlation between these two pathological dispositions with analogous emotional traits. Mourning and melancholia are intertwined with profoundly similar features such as the loss of a loved object and dwelling on loss.… Continued

On Polixeni Papapetrou

“Photographier n’est pas prendre le monde pour objet, mais le faire devenir objet, exhumer son altérité enfouie sous sa prétendue réalité, le faire surgir comme attracteur étrange et fixer cette attraction étrange dans une image.”

Jean BAUDRILLARD, Car l’illusion ne s’oppose pas à la réalité…,
Descartes & Cie, Paris, 1998

C’est en découvrant un ouvrage de la photographe américaine Diane Arbus que Polixeni Papapetrou a ressenti sa première grande émotion en photographie.… Continued

On Polixeni Papapetrou

‘Photographing is not about taking the world as an object but making it become an object, exhuming its hidden alterity under its pretended reality, to make it rise like a strange attractor and fix this strange attraction in its image.’

Jean Baudrillard, Because the illusion is not opposed to the reality
Descartes & Cie, Paris 1998

It was in discovering a work of the American photographer Diane Arbus that Polixeni Papapetrou felt her first great emotion in photography.… Continued

Haunted Country — Polixeni Papapetrou

In the summer of 1977, I stayed with a school friend’s family on their houseboat on Lake Eildon, a popular tourist destination a few hours drive from Melbourne, Australia. While there, I decided to climb the mountain, Mount Enterprise in the National Park. On the day, I set off at 6.00 am. I thought that it would be a quick jaunt up and down the mountain and I would be back in time for breakfast.… Continued