by Polixeni Papapetrou
Between Worlds is a theatrical bestiary. Though in a sense absurdist, the children in these photographs are portrayed as animals to explore the magical affinity that children have with animals. Animals enter our consciousness in mysterious ways and we look at them in order to understand ourselves and our emotional realm. For most of the history of philosophy, it is what we don’t share with animals that defines us as human. In a similar way, children are the “other” that defines adulthood and for that reason, children pervade our consciousness, at times adorably and at times threateningly.
The children in these photographs appear as something we immediately recognize, but they have been fantastically hybridized to reveal their in-between state. Children are between the worlds of infancy and adulthood. The children wear animal masks, allowing them to inhabit an intermediary position that separates them from adults and human from animal. Within these ambiguities, there is an exploration of the space that children occupy in our understanding and how they might bestride the stage of art.
In performances dramatized by costume and masks and in sumptuous landscapes on the border of sea and land, forest and plain, land and air, the children as animals dance upon their own liminal world. The children, like actors, perform identities other than their own, transgressing boundaries and blurring the lines between fantasy/theatre, mythology/reality, archetype/play, male/female, child/adult and animal/human.