From indigestion, autobiography and misogyny to flattery, indulgence and abuse, we move through the landscape of Athena Papadopoulos‘s psyche and practice in AQNB’s first ever podcast. We meet at London’s Emalin gallery, where the Canadian artist is currently showing solo exhibition The Smurfette, running April 28 to June 3, as well as an in conversation with Eliel Jones on May 30.
Moving around the assemblages of sculptural and 2D collage that occupy the space, we chat about the multitude of influence that informs her practice. Like entering the aftermath of a party from the night before, sculptural tree-like formations made stable with large concrete heels stand proud and awkward upon stained carpet; a feeling of being on display.
Walking the fine line between confidence and insecurity, the desire for flattery and fulfillment is dissected and put back together again, or as Papadopoulos describes it, “literally deep fried.” Battered in fake hair, resin and self-tanner to name a few, she adorns the work in a multitude of substances inspired by both the aesthetics of fun and horror, including camouflaged letters that spell out phrases of abuse such as ‘Chewed up’, Spit out’ and ‘Tapped.’
In an hour long conversation that has been condensed to thirty minutes, we expand on the unsettling world of taxidermy, growing up around parties and ‘too much information’, the importance of the materiality itself and the influential artists who have shaped how she approaches making and thinking about art.**