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Jenkins Johnson Gallery\, New York\, is pl eased to present Stories from the Other Side\, a solo exhibition of photographs by Polixeni Papapetrou. The exhibition features two of Papapetr ou’s most recently completed series\, The Ghillies and Between Worlds\, and will be her first solo sh ow with Jenkins Johnson Gallery in New York. There will be an opening recep tion on Thursday\, April 4 from 6 to 8 pm\, which will feature a discussion with writer and curator Susan Bright at 7 pm. Accompanying the exhibition will be a full color catalogue entitled ”The Ghillies” with an essay by Chr is Healy\, Associate Professor of Cultural Studies at the University of Mel bourne.

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Australian photographer Polixeni Papapetr ou creates darkly whimsical images that grapple with conceptual definitions of childhood\, both historically and in contemporary society. Addressing w hat it means to be a child\, Papapetrou uses her work to argue that the ins titution of childhood is an adult construct created to satisfy roles in soc iety. Like Bill Henson and Sally Mann\, Papapetrou encountered controversy when a 2003 photograph of her nude six-year-old daughter\, Olympia\, entitl ed Olympia as Lewis Carroll’s Beatrice Hatch Before White Cliffs\, g raced the cover of Art Monthly A ustralia. Complaints of child pornography and violations of child pr otection legislation followed\, and Papapetrou began photographing children wearing masks or with their faces obscured as a way to remove the childhoo d identity and add an element of layering to the figures. Papapetrou is als o inspired by the spectacle of dress-up and performance that appeared in 19 th century French and English tableaux photography\, so she looks to photog raphers like Julia Margaret Cameron\, Lewis Carroll\, and Clementina Lady H awarden. She finds further inspiration in the work of photographers\, like Diane Arbus\, Roger Ballen\, Richard Billingham\, Martin Parr\, and Nan Gol din\, who portray the everyday world around them and in doing so reveal a s ecluded inner world. Papapetrou’s work is often compared to that of Cindy S herman for her presentation of such a varied array of characters and person alities.

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In Papapetrou’s most recent body of work \, The Ghillies\, organic figures emerge from the ground\, cr eating an almost symbiotic relationship with the landscape\; the figures ch ange color and shape according to the different landscapes and costumes the y inhabit. A ghillie suit was originally devised for hunting and combat\, a nd they were taken into the field to act as a decoy\, disguised with matter from that landscape in order to blend with their surroundings. Papapetrou’ s son introduced her to ghillies through his interest in the Call of Dut y video game\, in which players use ghillie suits in order to become sn ipers and conceal themselves within the terrain. Photographing her son in t he natural Australian landscape\, Papapetrou addresses a boy’s transformati on from a youth into adulthood\, and the institutional camouflages he must take on to fit in with his peers and society. Papapetrou states\, “I wanted to make a body of work that looked at what it felt like to be a boy going through adolescence.”

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Papapetrou also addresses c hildhood in her iconic series Between Worlds\, in which she p hotographs children amongst the Australian landscape in various animal mask s. This construct addresses childhood as a transitional space between infan cy and the adult world in the same way that these animal-human hybrids exis t in a space between human and non-human. The anthropomorphic figures sprin g directly from the artist’s imagination. 

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Papape trou has stated that even though children have assimilated into adult cultu re\, they still maintain spontaneous animal impulses\, which speak to the i dea of having one foot in each world. Rather than taking on stereotypical a nimal roles\, Papapetrou’s figures take on human-like behavior\, which is f urthered by titles that add further depth to the works.

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Papapetrou is a 2009 winner of the Josephine Ulrick &\; Win Schub ert Photography Award\, a 2007 Bundanon Trust\, Artist in Residence\, New S outh Wales and has won the Visual Art and Crafts Board\, Australia Council\ , New Work Grant four times. Papapetrou is in countless private collections worldwide and is in such prestigious public collections as the Museum of C ontemporary Art\, Sydney\; Museum of Fine Arts\, St. Petersburg\; National Gallery of Australia\, Canberra\; National Gallery of Victoria\, Melbourne\ ; and National Library of Australia\, Canberra\, amongst others.

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Concurrent with this exhibition\, several institutio ns across the globe are exhibiting Polixeni Papapetrou’s work including Between Worlds at Fotográfica Bogotá at the Fundación Gilberto Alzate A vendaño in Bogota\, Columbia from May 7 to June 15 2013\; a selection of Pa papetrou’s work dating from the late 80s to the present at the Centre for C ontemporary Photography in Melbourne Australia from October 18 to December 15\, 2013\; and Between Worlds' at The Hellenic Museum in Melbourne\ , Australia from July 9 to August 8\, 2013.

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For v isuals or more information please visit www.jenkinsjohnsongallery.com or co ntact Karen Gilbert at 212-629-0707 or kgilbert@jenkinsjohnsongallery.com DTEND:20130622 DTSTAMP:20140920T211257 DTSTART:20130404 GEO:40.7536854;-73.9991637 LOCATION:Jenkins Johnson Gallery - NY\,521 West 26th Street 5th Fl\nNew Yor k\, NY 10001 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:Stories from the Other Side\, Polixeni Papapetrou UID:267087 END:VEVENT BEGIN:VEVENT DTEND:20130404T200000 DTSTAMP:20140920T211257 DTSTART:20130404T180000 GEO:40.7536854;-73.9991637 LOCATION:Jenkins Johnson Gallery - NY\,521 West 26th Street 5th Fl\nNew Yor k\, NY 10001 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:Stories from the Other Side\, Polixeni Papapetrou UID:267088 END:VEVENT END:VCALENDAR