Exploring a collection of amateur 35mm slide photographs of sleeping people, Sleepers imagines the restless movement of a mind as it flickers between perceptions, slipping towards unconsciousness, resisting, or urgently trying to find the path to, sleep.
Seeing someone sleep always provokes a level of uncertainty; perhaps this is more than sleep? Are they dead?
Seeing a still image always provokes a level of uncertainty; I think I see movement?
The sleepers’ ‘withdrawal’ into another world, of dreams, also activates and destabilises our ability to empathise.
The stillness and silence of a sleeping person, and a still photograph, creates a vacuum for the viewer, provoking a consciousness of sound. Sound here fragments outwards from the image and is drawn towards it, trying to connect with it, to “bring it to life” but never fully adhering to the image.
Holes pierce the thin flat membrane of 35mm film, pouring in light - time to wake up? - allowing a journey through one image and into another.
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Jarman Award 2015 interview: