In her third solo show titled Lucky Charms and Magic Potions Ioanna Pantazopoulou presents a series of new sculptures inspired by myths of lucky charms in everyday rituals, enchanted objects and the search for magic in a fantastical world.
The artist creates S.S.S. (Shining Super Star), a shrine-like sculpture that lights itself up. Ten year old expired sealed jars of pasta sauce, mushroom, and smoked aubergines that never reached the supermarket shelves, become shiny totems and sparkling jewels in a shrine structure held together by galvanized industrial metal shelves that are transformed into an embellished illuminated structure. The LED lighting is used to elevate the “status” of the expired useless jars in order to make them become apperaling, sparkling and gain importance.
In an attempt to comment on value and appearance, the crown of the structure appears both prominent and like a foreign body. Its pyramid-like peak becomes a climax, created from wood and embellished by diamante costume jewelry, covered by crystals and plexiglass. The shrine monument pays tribute both to notions of value and preserved vitality. The jars are displayed almost like specimens and there is the implication that if they remain unopened they will remain intact forever.
Ioanna Pantazopoulou is concerned with the way in which commodities become embodiments of social relations, and the ideology that the commodity is an object with magic powers. She is not making a comment on excess production but rather is concerned by the mystification of objects in everyday social life. She is concerned with the value and meaning we give to everyday objects, the security they offer and the power they possess. She challenges herself with unusual materials, which however always have a story to tell. The search for unwanted, discarded objects and materials play a significant role and become an essential factor for the making of her works.
The center piece of her exhibition is surrounded by two smaller sculptures that coordinate with the same idea and process. W.O.F. (Wheel Of Fortune) is a colourful circular tapestry of rags which are woven into a whirlpool held together by magic broomsticks. S.H.W. (Sweet Home Wish), a silver hammock-sculpture created with hundreds of gold tinted aluminium ex-voto (“tamata” in Greek) depicting a house, becomes a vessel and provides a wish for a safe and happy home.
Through this new series of sculptures the artist embodies luck and superstition and transforms discarded ordinary objects into something wasteless. The correlation between expired waste and commodity fetishism is the meeting point of these works that question and attempt to create new connections between the past and present, of what is lost and found.
Ioanna Pantazopoulou b.1984 in Athens, Greece and currently lives and works in New York. She received both her BA (2007) and MA (2009) in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art and Design, London, U.K. Pantazopoulou is represented in Athens by the Ileana Tounta Contemporary Art Center and in New York by Safe Gallery. She has exhibited her work at Culture Lab in West Palm Beach, SAFE Gallery in New York, JAG Projects in Hudson, NY, Situations Gallery in New York, NADA Miami, Grand Union Gallery in Birmingham, U.K., Primetime Gallery in New York, Alex Mylona-Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, Greece, Hydra School Projects in Hydra, Greece, The NEON Foundation in Athens, Greece and many more. Her work is included in the D.Daskalopoulos Collection, Athens, Greece.