Je Dors; a sleepy review.
Three Montreal area artists unite to delve deep into their dreams. Their aim is to extract raw material with which to create a series of works for this exhibition entitled I SLEEP. Even though sleep is an integral part of the human condition, each of these artists expresses the experience from an individual perspective. For me it was a peaceful break from a too busy life. With the artists permission I took some video of the exhibit in that wonderful buidling along the Lachine Canal.
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Sleep is the calm after the storm of the day, and when I lie under the weight of my covers, I slowly slip back into a primitive state. For a while, I feel safe and sound in the familiar, ephemeral cocoon. That temporary respite is soon over, however, as the deeper and deeper sleep into which I slip engenders a madness of inventions and allegories. If I can linger in that “not quite” asleep zone, I love to observe the moment of transition between conscious and unconscious states. Sleep-induced hallucinations intertwine with reality. The passage from one universe to the other is for me a source of sensations both subtle and stimulating. It’s where thought is deconstructed and becomes the raw material for a new reality.
Sleep is for me a return to a kind of innocence, to a place without artifice that is the realm of our inner child. Ensconced in our cocoon of covers, we feel secure and protected at a moment when we are most vulnerable. We can abandon ourselves to our dreams, and even if we keep our waking masks on, we can forget that we wear them.
As a child, I did everything in my power to avoid sleep; my dreams were the domain of frightening creatures. As I grew, I came to make peace with them because I realized they were symbols of my thoughts and expressed the undercurrents of my being.
Today, my life experiences no longer hide behind monstrous shapes. I spend my nights in a world at once familiar and strange, welcoming and mysterious, reassuring and dangerous. Sleep becomes a door that opens to a world of inspiring discovery, a world of understanding that makes poetry of the every day.
Despite the differences in their interpretations of sleep, Collet, Venne and Ascher have discovered common ground in their artistic process. All three work in the figurative style, they are interested in symbolic representation and metaphor, and they venture into hazardous territory through analogy.