Sleep like a Cubist


Iconophilia recommends that Canberra readers get themselves across to Gallery 4, which is outside CMAG, facing the Town Square (or out-of-towners can try exploring the labyrinthine CMAG website).  The installation Journey to Morning is by Blaide Lallemand and Hilary Cuerden-Clifford, together with Christopher Fulham. See also the hippy ANAT site which tracks similar works on tour in Portable Worlds, an exhibition which has been on tour since  2007 to regional galleries in S.A, NSW, Queensland and the N.T. It’s also been screened on mobile phones and as part of the international pocket film festival at the Pompidou Centre. In the artists’ own words:

“The subjects were photographed over the course of a night, with the camera placed directly above them and each exposure lasting for thirty minutes. The individual series of images have been subsequently translated into moving sequences… [each] playing on separate screens. The sleepers are both vulnerable and unassailable, in their own worlds and yet visible to us, the viewers; we are conscious that this is an experience we humans all share, even though it is when we are asleep thatwe are – perhaps – most unique, most ourselves.”

“In sleep, our movements are no longer directed by our conscious selves, other fundamental rhythms come into play, and other truths are brought to the surface.”

Since 2003, Blaide and Hilary have been photographing people of various ages, gender and cultural backgrounds in the state of sleep. Using black and while film, half hour exposures with the camera placed directly over the subject, the photographs map the movements of the naked sleeper. These are explorative portraits taken in a studio, where the person is left alone to sleep, no longer aware of the photographer as the image is building up. They are not consciously reacting to the camera and we are not seeing them frozen in time but travelling through it. It is as if the sleepers are both vulnerable and unassailable, in their own worlds and yet visible to the viewers.

Each work is a slow-moving dissolving/emerging study of an individual photographed naked, asleep, throughout the dark side of the diurnal rhthym. As they toss and turn throughout the night, their postures and form overlap, go in and out of focus, and coalesce in a manner not so different from Analytical Cubism. An iconophilia must see.

1 comment so far ↓

#1 Pammy Faye on 06.20.09 at 8:38 am

Lovely work, thanks for the link. I love the way she appears to have become veiled in herself over the course of the night.

Obviously this shoot didn’t happen in the middle of a Canberra winter!

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