A sleeping male body, a landscape of a special kind. The skin, with its inclines,
is a stage for the actions of a warrior figure of our age. The figure traverses
the body and scans it like enemy territory. The regularity and constant repetition
of the mechanical movements of the figure, together with the rattling noises
of the toy, represent a contrast to the immobility of the resting body. The
rigidity of the artificial material chafes against the vulnerable surface of
the body, until the “bitter end”...
Parallel to the body landscape, nature footage of a dense mixed forest is repeatedly
shown over the course of the video. Images that suggest a savage wilderness,
which only on first glance reminds us of exotic sites of war. On closer inspection
the forest area reveals itself as an old hill of debris restored to nature.
The soundtrack, composed of forest sounds and sounds of war sampled from movies,
increases the sense of threat that seems to haunt the images.
Excerpt from the video
The work alludes to Andy Warhol’s first underground experimental movie “Sleep”,
dating from 1963, and makes conceptual references to Francisco de Goya’s famous
etching “The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters”. The fundamental question that
lies in Goya’s title, whether the “absence” of reason or the dream of perfect
reason produce more harm, is represented in the video by the polarisation of
two opposed forms of masculinity. War and peace, inside and outside are presented
on the same platform.
With a distanced, ironic gaze the piece explores the issue of gender construction
and suggests associations to current religious wars, without ignoring the subliminal
erotic charge and fascination of combat.
Camera: Carsten Möller and Alba D’Urbano
Performer: N. R.