Celebrating : Wonderland in Limassol, Cyprus

Christodoulos Panayiotou, Wonderland, 2008. 80 color slides, realized with the collaboration of the Municipal Archives of the City of Limassol, Cyprus.

“(...) I have never participated in the carnival's organized activities, nor have I ever joined in the parade. I never understood the motive nor did I feel the festive impulse that many carnival participants can describe so comfortably. To be honest, I have never believed in it because I have never quite seen this impulse realized, especially in the parade, which was the focus of my last work. My own observations and my research in the related photographic archives have made something evident: in the past few years, the preparations for the carnival have become a kind of imposed and somehow covered up melancholy. This feeling becomes, I think, even more intense in the children. It might be a projection, but I get the impression that the carnival parades of Limassol have acquired the rehearsed character of our own archaeology. The parade is a kind of revelation of everything we would like to be, of everything we know we cannot be, and of everything we cannot afford to accept that we are.”

Extract from a conversation between Christodoulos Panayiotou and Nicos Charalambidis published in Art Papers Magazine.

Wonder Land is the outcome of extensive research in the historical archives of the city of Limassol pointing out the “obsession” of limassolians to disguise into Disney's characters during the annual carnival parade. The work covers the period from the late 70s up to present and renegotiates the historic and political narrative of this important social event.

Christodoulos Panayiotou's website
Christodoulos Panayitou's blog