Portfolio: Athena Papadopoulos

With her solo show opening at Emalin, the London-based artist shares her favourite works and artists

Key:
BLURBS my ultra subjective tid-bits inspired by the works or the artists.
VERBS taken from Richard Serra’s Verb List (1967–68).
COCKTAIL PAIRINGS what you should drink in the presence of each work / the spirit-animal-cocktail for each work or artist.

Niki de Saint Phalle
Venus (1964)
BLURB  Is it wrong to be reminded of a scene from the 1996 film The Craft when Nancy hallucinates bugs crawling all over her? I always felt so itchy when watching that scene but then I realized that bugs are all over us all the time. Literally and metaphorically we are crawling with, and supersaturated in, the rather fab disease of culture with a capital K. Actually sometimes I have an itch on my elbow. I scratch it then I get an itch on my toe. I scratch that one, and get another itch on my earlobe. I think it might be a Neuropathic Itch.
VERB to spread
COCKTAIL PAIRING  Ugly Virgin – 2 oz. mandarin juice, 1 oz. grapefruit juice, 2 oz. lemonade. (It’s non-alcoholic, but I like to add Prosecco. I imagine NdSP would be happy with the addition.)

Tetsumi Kudo
Your Portrait (1964)
BLURB  My mother’s tanning solution recipe when laying poolside was: 1 part vinegar, 1 part iodine and lots of parts of baby oil. She was very brown and a stay at home mum. Now she doesn’t do tanning anymore since learning the risks and she goes out way more often.
VERB  to gravitate
COCKTAIL PAIRING  Dead Grasshopper – 1 part green crème de menthe, 1 part white crème de cacao, 1 part milk, 1 dash of beer, (I like to use Pabst Blue Ribbon and unpasteurised 12% milk).

Greer Lankton
Freddie (1980) and Ellen (1981), (photograph by Greer Lankton)
BLURB  Oh young love – I swear by it. A friend and I were just discussing how great it was to be infatuated with certain people sexually and mentally and how that feeling was so easily transferable from one hot guy to the next. What a positive and freeing notion but also what an amateur one, which is why I love it. I wonder if my art-making process is sort of a similar vibe minus the urge to want to copulate. I promise I have never touched them in that way…
VERB  to support
COCKTAIL PAIRING  Painkiller – 2 oz. rum, 1 oz. cream of coconut, 4 oz. apple juice, 1 oz. orange juice (not a terrible idea to crush up some ibuprofen and replace as the salt rimmer).

David Wojnarowicz
Fire in My Belly (1984)
BLURB  This film as well as the novel Junkie by William S. Burroughs, were my first cultural forays into my misidentification with mainstream culture at the age of 18 and 12 respectively.  Anything banned or deemed morally reprehensible by super conservative people will likely be in my bag.
VERB  to suspend
COCKTAIL PAIRING  Hell Frozen Over – 1 oz. sloe gin, 1 oz. dry vermouth, ½ oz. apricot brandy, ½ oz. Cointreau (microwave after mixing).

John Waters
Pecker (1998)
BLURB  I saw this when I was 12 or 13 years old. Thirteen was a great year for me, a good age, a fine age. And so was that 2003 film Thirteen, the one with the two promiscuous 13 year-old girls who do loads of drugs. And guys. One of the actresses went on to date and get engaged to Marilyn Manson – whose interviews I tend to watch when procrastinating – along with videos of shark attacks. I think maybe I wouldn’t really like Thirteen now if I were to watch it again. I do still love, love, love Pecker and to be honest everything John Waters lays his slender dirty hands on.
VERB  to smear
COCKTAIL PAIRING  Sperm – 5cl tequila, 5 cl vodka, 1 drop of cream (Soya cream preferable if you want it to be slightly more posh).

Bjarne Melgaard
Untitled, (with Bob Recine and Andre Walker) (2015)
BLURB  This is like all the times I cried and threatened to throw myself off a cliff after visiting the hairdresser for my burnt spaghetti-string highlights in junior high. A hairstyle that subsequently provoked many boys to comment on my KardASSian while I fetched lip gloss from my locker.
VERB  to tighten
COCKTAIL PAIRING  Wild White Slippery Mudslide – 1 ½ oz. Bailey’s, ½ oz. Kahlua, ¼ butterscotch schnapps, ¼ cream. (I would suggest subbing in ice cream for the cream. That’s the way I had it growing up.)

Teresa Margolles
En el aire (2003)
BLURB  I am reminded of a story belonging to a friend who worked in a restaurant in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side. The employees were organizing the walk-in fridge when water started to pour through the ceiling. It was pink in hue and they were all getting drenched while furiously trying to rescue all the cheeses and meats. Later they discovered that a bathtub had been overflowing in the junkie hostel above.
VERB  to flood
COCKTAIL PAIRING  Red Witch – 1 shot Pernod, 1 pint apple cider, 5 oz. blackcurrant cordial (also try adding a shot of red cooking wine).

Athena Papadopoulos (born 1988, Toronto, Canada) lives and works in London. She completed her MFA at Goldsmiths, London in 2013. Recent exhibitions include ‘Belladonna's Muse’ curated by Samuel Leuenberger, CURA Basement Roma, Rome, Italy (2017); ‘Wolf Whistles’, Shoot the Lobster New York, USA (2017); ‘Streams of Warm Impermanence’, David Roberts Art Foundation, London, UK (2016); ‘Wild Style’, Peres Projects, Berlin, Germany (2016); ‘Bloody Life’, Herald St, London, UK (2016). ‘The Smurfette’ (28 April – 3 June) will be the artist’s second solo exhibition at Emalin, London.

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