Ariana Papademetropoulos

Ariana Papademetropoulos

With salmon walls, magenta carpet and eccentric ornament, Ariana Papademetropoulos has transformed Wilding Cran into a life-size dollhouse where you are the doll and everything is slightly off-kilter. Her show’s title, “The man who saved a dog from an imaginary fire,” refers to an acid-tripping gent who hallucinated a neighbor’s house afire and burglarized it to save their pet. This installation suggests that society is a Frankensteinan, ersatz version of pervasive fantasies. Trompe l’oeil stains punctuate brightly painted interior scenes, insinuating dismal voids beneath cheery artifice. A theatrical church uncloaks religious rituals’ Disney-esque veneer. An in-between lenticular postcard renders a pretty woman half grotesque. Laid atop a carpeted dais, a grid of gothic romance pulp novels betrays the illustrated covers’ repetitive formula of a lass running from a mansion with one lit room. This arrangement illuminates domesticity’s dark side while questioning the romanticization of damsels in distress. Furthering the fantasia, a miniature door is portal to a Philip Garner-inspired dysfunctional bedroom where a beat-up exercise bike faces a video showing the artist inside a bubble (still above), escaping her own studio building of eerily similar appearance to the book cover mansions. Culminating here, Papademetropoulos’ installation feels subversive in its comely investigation of fantasies’ embedded cultural subtexts.

 

Wilding Cran Gallery
939 S. Santa Fe Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90021
Show runs through Oct. 26