P A N A Y I S
C H R Y S O V E R G I S
Once upon a time, while being enchanting Paris, I was looking for Never Never land but instead I met Luna Dark….
It was a land like no other, a place where children never grow old, a fantasy world where everything seems ideal, but was it really? A theme park is a place where we step out of our stressful social boundaries, search for the limits through speed or even terror. I tend to believe that once I arrived there, I was subconsciously transformed and set myself free.
At the same time, I was the witness of a particular borderline state; I was observing people been lost in the space-time continuum/ in between childhood and adulthood. This internal conflict may have created the empty look on people’s faces that I was haunted by.
I visited this place after the completion of my work “Heterotopia” and in my surprise I realized that I was dealing with another form of heterotopia, i.e. a place where utopia, that is the fantasy, obtains a material dimension. I was expecting to meet boys and girls who would come here to relive their childhood…What are we really looking for in a theme park? What do we hope to find in such an artificial world that has a potential capability to bring us back to early childhood memories? It is a world where you can scream, crash each others bumper cars ,pilot a helicopter, fly, jump, use a gun, gamble, be a winner, enjoy waffles and all this in just a couple of hours!
I was impressed by the diversity of the visitors and how the age of the users changed so radically depending on the hour of the day. During the day for instance, it was mostly children and younger adults, but as the night fell, I could see mostly adults.
What impressed me initially was the security measures: Change to people where electronically searched prior to their entry in the park and the police where highly visible and in large numbers once it got dark. This contradiction between a dream place that could possibly lead people back to their stress-free childhood and the strong security at the place urged me to question how this transformation day to night came about. I desired to search deeper in this transformation and present my own reflections, even my own reality of this transformation.
This is what photography is all about anyway in my eyes; I pose questions in order to challenge stereotypical or normative perceptions of an image. This is precisely what ignites my imaginations.
For me, a picture constitutes a challenge to see the world differently. And the park after dark was giving me another reality, where I could meet “ grown up” children were vacillating between adult sexuality and childhood tantrums.
Sexual attraction, this powerful primitive instinct mixed with violence. I interpreted this dynamic as the erotic attraction that one finds between the two sexes which, in this context, brings up the primal instincts of dominance by the alpha male.
The more the time was passing by, the more Luna Park was turning into “Luna Dark”. A world where we all can meet our dreams, find out our inner wishes, a world where one can invent their persona.
People’s faces are now still moments of innocence through photography that is never innocent.