Born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa, Athene worked a number of years in creative film before giving up her ‘real name’ to become a stripper in a Cape Town club in protest against the invisible sexual and gendered labour she felt obliged to perform in the industry. It was here that she was initially born - a symbol of demonised femme stereotypes with a mandate to use artists and their institutions to up her cultural capital. 

Athene’s work has focused predominantly on the politics of sex work, gendered labour and gender as performance. Currently completing her MAFA at the University of Witwatersrand, supported by an Andrew Mellon Foundation Grant, she is now exploring identity beyond the tradable, and the opportunities of relationship in ‘capitalist wastelands’. Athene has been an artist in residence at Vermont Studio Centre, USA, Arteles in Finland, and the Santa Fe Art Institute in New Mexico, USA. She is a Sasol New Signatures Merit Award Winner (2019).

A performance and photographic series where the artist co-opted other artists into the stripper fantasy and her bed, where she exchanged moments of domestic intimacy for their cultural capital, giving agency to the position of the historic muse. The series was a precursor to the In Bed With Artists Residency, and continued throughout the residency program.