Polixeni Papapetrou: Thames & Hudson Australia
The late Polixeni Papapetrou (1960–2018) is the subject of a new Mini Monograph: part of
a series that includes Del Kathryn Barton, edited by curator Natalie King, Enterprise Professor
at the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne, published by Thames & Hudson.
The books are a departure from traditional weighty tomes; they are small in scale and each one is 96 pages. For each monograph, one luminary from another field has contributed a brief essay; and Melbourne-based playwright, screenwriter and novelist Joanna Murray-Smith has written about Papapetrou. Born in Melbourne to Greek immigrants, Papapetrou’s experience of feeling like an outsider in a then-predominantly Anglo-Saxon culture led her to question definitions of identity. Her sympathy for otherness remained a key element of her life and work. As a photomedia artist, she made images exploring the relationship between history, contemporary culture and identity. Her photographs of children dressing up, most often her daughter Olympia – with whom she created a staggering amount of work – performing and wearing masks, sought to explore the portrayal of childhood identity. The book is an eloquent introduction to this Australian artist’s considerable legacy. Polixeni Papapetrou, $29.99, published by Thames & Hudson Australia.