melbourne

Polixeni Papapetrou

Centre for Contemporary Photography

Polixeni Papapetrou photographs bodybuilders and cross-dressers. Her ambitious exhibition “Curated Bodies” contained seven pieces made up of several smaller images, each of considerable internal complexity. These polyptychs are framed in different types of gilt or decorative molding; in one work, a detail from an elaborate Mannerist painting counterbalances the artifice of the whole installation. The seven works are portraits of people belonging to two subcultures, with the exception of Do you take this man?, 1996, in which a too-young, just-married, heterosexual couple contrasted with a relaxed and proud same-sex “husband and wife” team.

Papapetrou does more, however, than present a photojournalistic essay: she juxtaposes her subjects (in small panels, their feet, hands or pelvises), mapping the morphological affinities that link both groups. She presents manipulated, stretched, worked-out,

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