And They Called Themselves The Europeans

And They Called Themselves The Europeans is an outdoor multimedia installation I created during my residency at AKKU studio in 2013. The installation consists of two separate but interrelated pieces: Some Europeans is a 30 minute projection featuring over sixty black and white photographs taken throughout Europe over the course of eight years. A Day In The Life Of Europe is a 60 minute audio piece comprised of ambient sound, music and interviews collected by the artist during my travels in Europe. Spoken languages in the piece include English, German, Spanish, Catalan, Turkish, French and Ukrainian.

Through the sounds and images in this installation visitors had an opportunity to visit places and hear the voices of people they would otherwise never encounter. From a Catalan independence demonstration in Barcelona to a worship service of Pentecostal Christians in Kiev And They Called Themselves The Europeans offers a unique visual and aural perspective on the transformations taking place across the continent. Through the images presented we see the faces of Europe from immigrants and asylum seekers to politicians and soldiers. In this work Reyes takes us on a visual exploration of Europe in distinctly human terms. By listening to the audio we hear the stories of both immigrants and their children as well as the sounds of nature and celebration. Though the works ran simultaneously the sounds and images are not directly linked which allows for interesting conflations as the two pieces loop throughout the day and night.

Photographed and edited by Damaso Reyes.