Curator NATALIE KING, 55, lives with her husband and three children in Melbourne. She has just installed a photography exhibition in Japan via Zoom
Have smartphones ruined the art form of contemporary photography?
I think they have made photography more accessible and infinitely more appealing. Everyone can take a photograph. Yet when you go and see a [work by, say, Australian artist] Polixeni Papapetrou you are transported to a misty forest with a character wearing a rabbit mask, to these other places of the imagination.
Papapetrou is one of eight Australian and Japanese artists — and the only non- living artist — in the exhibition Reversible Destiny, which you have co- curated and installed via Zoom for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Cultural Olympiad. Why did you include her?
I have a long history of working with Polixeni [who died aged 57 in 2018] and we became very close friends. Her work deals so much with the idea of “reversible destiny”; life
and death, beginning and ending, adolescence and adulthood, fantasy and reality. It’s just in this other-worldly place. I was particularly interested in her final body of work, Her Heart, Still So Full of Her, where she went back and looked at her negatives from the 1980s — she was a very methodical person and trained as a lawyer — and revisited and printed them on a canvas with a gold or silver glow. I think she was thinking about what’s to come and her own mortality.