Gulliver in Europe

Gulliver in Europe is composed of twenty surreal moments of the 21st century, twenty surreal acts of self-reference that became public.

Surreal not only because they combine two realities that seem to be incompatible or two level time periods that cannot overlap, but mainly because these two elements were matched in a manner that is similar to automatic writing and contain many elements of psychoanalysis.

The engravings act on the collective unconscious as an ancient, out-dated point of reference, with a romantic veil, by definition, covering them. On the other hand the photographs which function as landscape, or more specifically stages, on which certain “adventures” take place, existed in my personal subconscious, since they had been taken years ago. The matching of the two was done in the same manner that anything liberating is accomplished: automatically, unhurried yet at the same time with great certainty.

Two dead things, which become something new and alive, like a simple mathematical equation where two negatives give us a positive. Two circles which have been completed and in their intersection give us a new circle.

How can two events from the past suddenly become the here and now? These photographs waited patiently for a long time in order to find their protagonists. It is not by chance that they were taken as empty stages at a young age, hence with little awareness of the self. It is not by chance that after numerous wanderings, travels and experiences, these stages found material which brought them to life. It brought them to life because these figures are very much alive, their forms are real people – as if they had been photographed in a previous life, hence just as real as all the memories from this life. These figures overturned the “there and then” of my photographic journeys and through paradox give meaning to now.

Angeliki Douveri