Working across sculpture, painting, text and sound, Papadopoulos’ practice defies traditional representations of the body, creating excessive, decaying and abject hybrid forms hovering between the worlds of the imagined and the real. Through a process of assemblage, her work is formed of found objects amassed and collaged together. Traditional binary perceptions of gender and sexuality are uprooted and unfixed.
Using her ever-expanding vocabulary of materials and ancient narratives, which she combines with unlikely elements, this new series of works includes sound, sculpture and painting, and explores human dichotomies questioning the complicated duality of reason and emotion. The exhibition is inspired by her recently published book Cain and Abel Can’t and Able, which gives the exhibition its title. Drawing from the biblical story of Cain and Able, Papadopoulos reflects on her own personal experiences of sibling rivalry and competition within romantic relationships but also, crucially, the struggle between good and evil.
Cain and Abel Can’t and Able is centred around a dialogue written by Papadopoulos in which an imagined narrative between two seemingly distinct voices is played out. Exploring themes such as jealousy, lust and kindness, Papadopoulos transforms this dialogue into wall-based sculptural paintings, an experimental sound work which can be heard throughout the gallery space and pages of the text that reappear hidden, splayed and nesting within the installation.
About the Artist
Athena Papadopoulos was born in 1988 in Toronto, CA. She lives and works in London. Following her BFA at the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, CA), she completed her MFA at Goldsmiths (London, UK) in 2013. Forthcoming solo and group exhibitions include Cain and Abel Can’t and Able, MOSTYN (Llandudno, Wales, 2020); Athena Papadopoulos, Emalin (London, UK, 2020), and The Condition of Being Addressable, ICA (Los Angeles, US, 2020). Recent solo exhibitions include The Apple Nun, Liebaert Projects (Kortrijk, BE, 2019); Holy Toledo, Takotsubo!, curated by CURA, Kunsthalle Lissabon (Lisbon, PT, 2019); A Tittle-Tattle-Tell-A-Tale Heart, Humber Street Gallery (Hull, UK, 2019); The Smurfette, Emalin (London, UK, 2017); Belladonna‘s Muse, curated by Samuel Leuenberger, CURA Basement Roma (Rome, IT, 2017); Wolf Whistles, Shoot the Lobster NY (NYC, USA, 2016). Recent group exhibitions include Place Vendôme, Berthold Pott (Cologne, DE, 2019); World Receivers, curated by Tiffany Zabludowicz, Zabludowicz Collection (London, UK, 2019); The Marvelous Cacophony, curated by Gunnar B. and Danielle Kvaran, 57th October Salon (Belgrade, RS, 2018); Streams of Warm Impermanence, David Roberts Art Foundation (London, UK, 2016); Wild Style, Peres Projects (Ber- lin, DE, 2016); Bloody Life, Herald St., London, UK, 2016).
Image credit: Athena Papadopoulos, Gogo Angel, 2019. Mixed media. Courtesy the artist and Emalin, London.