Sergiy Petlyuk / / Сергій Петлюк

Dreams about Europe


Video installation, 2009-2012
(metal beds, mattresses, pillows, videos), dimensions variable


“Europe was built by those of us living on the edges because it is only from there that you would need to imagine something like Europe to save you from your complexes, insecurities, and fears.”

Slavenka Drakulic


Dreams About Europe is an attempt to reflect perceptions of Europe in Ukrainian society, as well as perceptions of Ukraine in Western European countries. In “their” eyes, Ukraine is a candidate that seeks symbiosis, and, in the words of Slavoj Žižek, referring to Eastern Europe as a whole, “the point from which the West sees itself as a likable, idealized form, worthy of love.” While Europe itself is only a “ghost,” an imaginary paradise yet to be seen, felt, and experienced, the work reveals an almost morbid idealization of it by the Ukrainian people: “Europe” as a brand. “Europe” as a better alternative. “Europe” as a destination. “Europe” as a desirable terra incognita. “Europe” as a great chance to “improve” own history. This work is also about a painful dichotomy between the dream(s) about Europe and the constant search for own national identity.