MANIFESTO

#63

CHANGE OF SPACE

BABY ALONE IN BABYLONE

2022.11.16

Text by Lucrezia Sgualdino.

Ariana Papademetropoulos opens at Vito Schnabel in New York City Baby Alone in Babylone. A surreal and fantastical tale that investigates the concept of femininity. 

The title conceived by Ariana Papademetropoulos for her exhibition, Baby Alone in Babylone, stems from Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg’s 1983 album that depicts the city of Los Angeles as a modern-day Babylon, a contemporary version of the historic Mesopotamian city. This land, traditionally defined and known as a lush, fertile land, an idyllic, almost paradisiacal, life-giving environment, also represents in the collective imagination the emblem of world civilization. Ariana thus invites the viewer on a journey that oscillates between collapsing realities and realms that instead converge, traversing surreal and dreamlike worlds that lead to an inherent narrative of awakenings and transformations. The influence of these elements arises in the artist from the cultural context that welcomed and embraced her for the creation of these latest works, the city of Rome. Magical, ancient and fascinating at every glimpse, it moves creativity toward a sharp dichotomy between moral codes and feminine virtues. 

Ariana Papademetropoulos, Titania, 2022.

The protagonist of this collection is a lonely little unicorn, who makes an imaginary journey from her innocent childhood to reach, through liberation and individuation, an inner maturity. Within each work is presented a perfect harmony between pleasure and romance, accompanied by an air of dusty foreboding between the concepts of bewitching beauty and psychological tension. The figure of the unicorn features prominently in the art, music and literature of the Middle Ages, always identified as an entity part of a bucolic world, immersed in flora and fauna of all kinds, elements that make its existence as credible as that of any living being. The narrative begins with Self Portrait 1996, an intimate canvas depiction of the young unicorn in a dark domestic interior. In the course of the artist’s works, there is also a real technical and pictorial advancement, the colors becoming somber hues with touches of iridescent silver, representing the mystery of this series itself. Phases of Venus is the culmination of the representation, a monumental painting with a giant pearly rose-colored shell that shimmers as water gushes from its opening pouring over the barren, wild earth. A symbol of Venus, goddess of love and femininity, the shell also represents the concept of transformation and evolution, a safe and protective place. The exhibition symbolizes a true journey projected toward a future vision, toward the union of spirit and matter. 

 

 

For further information vitoschnabel.com.

Ariana Papademetropoulos, Self Portrait 1996, 2022.
Ariana Papademetropoulos, Horror Vacui, 2022.
Ariana Papademetropoulos, View from Tower I, 2022.
Ariana Papademetropoulos, View from Tower II, 2022.
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