Athena Papadopoulos’ first major institutional presentation in the UK to open at Humber Street Gallery

Image ©: Installation View, Athena Papadopoulos, The Smurfette.
Courtesy of the artist and Emalin Gallery

Humber Street Gallery is delighted to present A Tittle-Tattle Tell-a-Tale Heart, Athena Papadopoulos’ first major institutional presentation in the UK. Using her recent two-part novel, of the same title as a point of departure the artist will create a narrative that combines the use of free-standing sculpture, sound installation, costume and performance.

Published in 2018, A Tittle-Tattle Tell-A-Tale Heart moves through different registers of textual experimentation, mimicking the detective story to uncover the tragic downfall and hopeful rebirth of the protagonist, Bunny. 

The exhibition will be divided into two distinct parts, on the first and second floors of the gallery, connected by the rear stairwell that will be transformed using light and sound. Here the artist will collaborate with artist HP Parmley (b.1988) to create a score as well as recordings of the artist taking on the voices of various characters of from her book nestled throughout the entire installation.

The first-floor gallery will be staged like a diseased film set, contained by a “quarantined zone” with internal enclosed environments using several techniques inspired by the backyard of her childhood home, theatre sets and haunted houses. A hysterical, sublime and hallucinatory experience.

The exhibition on the second floor is drawn from the final chapter in the novel taking the idea of “exhibitionism” through fashion and music gig vernacular as well as children’s theatre and the idea of the performance of making an “installation” where the viewer may find themselves embroiled.  A host of performances will ensue in this space throughout the exhibition curated by the artist.

John Heffernan, Senior Curator at Humber Street Gallery, said: “We’re excited to be hosting Athena’s show here at Humber Street Gallery. I’m sure it will captivate visitors and transport them right into the setting of the novel and give them the opportunity to become part of the work themselves.”

The artist’s distinct repertoire of edible, cosmetic and medicinal materials continues to be employed in this new body of work, pointing towards Papadopoulos’ ongoing interest in dismantling that which underpins cultural constructions of femininity, social experience and exteriority through complex materiality. The exhibition at Humber Street Gallery represents an evolution of Papadopoulos’ practice towards a mode of production that is fully immersive and expansive, enabling her movement between performative roles and guises. 

Based in London, the internationally acclaimed Canadian artist has exhibited widely and was recently shortlisted for the prestigious Max Mara Art Prize for Women, in collaboration with London’s Whitechapel Gallery.  

A preview event for A Tittle-Tattle Tell-A-Tale Heart takes place on Thursday 11 April and the exhibition is open from Friday 12 April until Sunday 30 June.

Further details can be found at www.humberstreetgallery.co.uk and www.absolutelycutured.co.uk 

[Matthew Walton – Absolutely Cultured]