Ioanna Pantazopoulou

Jungle Prosthetics: Enchanted Forest

Ioanna Pantazopoulou, Jungle Prosthetics: Enchanted Forest, 2022. Image Courtesy Mel Taing

As part of deCordova’s PLATFORM series, Ioanna Pantazopoulou (b. 1984, Athens, Greece, lives and works in Brooklyn, New York) will install an inverted palm tree “chandelier” draped with thousands of shimmering crystals and festive ornamentation. Standing over twenty feet tall amid the towering, elegant pine trees of deCordova’s Grove, this bedazzled form will appear, in the artist’s words, to have “landed from a different world into the forest and aims to harmoniously and magically co-exist in the new environment.” The palm tree evokes the artist’s Mediterranean family heritage, which spans from Greece to northern Africa. The surrounding trees will be further embellished with whimsical sculptural interventions, transforming the Grove into a celebratory immersive atmosphere. Please Note: The festive ornamentation on the surrounding trees was deinstalled in the spring of 2023. The chandelier palm tree remains on view through Fall 2023.

Pantazopoulou assembles discarded and everyday materials – brooms, pasta, North Korean currency, to name a few—into monumental, gravity-defying formations that channel whimsy, pleasure, reinvention, and magic. Recasting collections of global detritus into sculptures, she aims for viewers to step out of their everyday life to wonder about the objects they may discard or overlook. Her work probes codes of decorum, leisure, and festivity, with past projects based on elaborate dinner parties and fanciful hammock-sculptures. Pantazopoulou earned her Masters of Fine Art at the Chelsea College of Art and Design, London, in 2009. She has exhibited in Greece, Europe and the United States, including the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn; Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah; Culture Lab, West Palm Beach, Florida; and Ileana Tounta Contemporary Arts Center, Athens, Greece. Her works are included in the permanent collections of Fidelity Investments Corporate Art Collection; D. Daskalopoulos Collection; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, and Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. 

Listen to Ioanna Pantazopoulou discuss her creative practice and inspiration for Jungle Prosthetics: Enchanted Forest.

PLATFORM is a series of one-person commissioned projects by early- and mid-career artists from New England, national, and international art communities that engage with deCordova’s unique landscape. The PLATFORM series lets artists expand their practice and visitors experience new approaches to contemporary sculpture and public art. 

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