‘...For each sleep is the true practice of hope, a long training at emancipation and freedom.’
—Haytham El-Wardany, Book of Sleep, 2017
The exhibition series Sleeping with a Vengeance, Dreaming of a Life takes a close look at contemporary politicsof sleep and asks whether we can reclaim sleep and dreaming from the clutches of late capitalism. In the ‘24/7 Universe’ (Jonathan Crary), sleep has been turned into a resource, tied to production, consumption, warfare and biopolitics. We are simultaneously enticed to sleep less and to sleep productively. Contemporary cultural practice mimics this trend with sleep performances, sleep hotels, sleep music.
Can sleep instead be configured as a radical, subversive activity? Can the act of dreaming, sleep’s correlate, be imagined a political deed? If sleep were to obstruct the cycle of capitalist production and social reproduction, would the sleeper be able to dream up a better life, a better future?
Sleeping with a Vengeance, Dreaming of a Life brings together artists from all wakes of life and artworks from diverse cultural backgrounds in order to start understanding how we might share agency in a future politics of sleep. Concurrently, the curatorial model of the exhibition series is based on a much needed ecology of scale. Starting with next to no budget and working with the smallest of institutions, the first exhibitions are conceived as sketches to be fleshed out while gaining momentum over the next couple of years.
Ruth Noack, Berlin, December 2017
About Ruth Noack
Ruth Noack is an author, curator, art historian, art critic and lecturer. She was also curator of Documenta 12 in 2007. Exhibitions include Scenes of a Theory (1995), Things We Don’t Understand (2000), The Government (2005) and Not Dressed for Conquering – Ines Doujak’s Loomshuttles/Warpaths (2012). Notes on Crisis, Currency and Consumption (2015) was the first of a series of ten essay-exhibitions on issues of contemporary life.
Head of the Curating Contemporary Art Program, Royal College of Art, London (2012-13), she acted as Research Leader for the EU-project MeLa - European Museums in an age of migrations. Noack was Šaloun professor at the Academy of Fine Arts, Prague (2013-14) and lead the Gwangju Biennale International Curator Course in 2014. Since 2015, she is one of the core tutors of Dutch Art Institute.
Florencia Almirón, Clara Amaral, Alaa Abu Asad, Ibon Aranberri, Zbynék Baladrán, Matthijs de Bruijne, Livio Casanova, Ulufer Çelik, Agata Cieślak, Chris Curreri, Anna Dacqué, Danica Dakić, Anna Daučíková, Teresa Distelberger, Ines Doujak, Nikos Doulos, Gangart, Tina Gverović, Dominique Hurth, Hu Wei, Luis Jacob, Sanne Kabalt, Gülsün Karamustafa, Nabuqi, Alejandra Riera, Annette Ruenzler, Jürgen Stollhans, Isabelle Sully, Leeron Tur-Kaspa, Simon Wachsmuth, Xie Nanxing, Xie Qi, Baha Görkem Yalim, Zheng Mahler
Sleeping with a Vengeance, Dreaming of a Life is a series of exhibition, it happened in Athens and Prague before.
June 1-2 , 2018
7, Eptapirgiou Str., 14231 Athens, Greece
Artists: Florencia Almirón, Clara Amaral, Alaa Abu Asad, Matthijs de Bruijne, Livio Casanova, Ulufer Celik, Agata Cieślak, Anna Daučíková, Teresa Distelberger, Ines Doujak, Nikos Doulos, Gangart, Tina Gverović, Sanne Kabalt, Alejandra Riera, Annette Ruenzler, Jürgen Stollhans, Isabelle Sully, Leeron Tur-Kaspa, Simon Wachsmuth, Baha Görkem Yalim.