Sleeping on Books

Braunschweig University of Art – Library
June 1st, 2011
Duration: 6 hours

I first came up with the idea for this performance while trying to understand and express other ways I access information. For me the performance is about a creative and often unconscious approach to acquiring knowledge. I want to question conventional epistemic systems to find other ways that remain hidden and unknown, and perhaps tying them to the unconscious elements of the creative psyche. The books I collected included subject matters like art history, performance art, the performative speech act,  philosophy, linguistics, semiotic, psychology, and feminism, as well as dream interpretation, sexuality and trauma. The night before the performance took place, I deprived myself from sleep by setting up the installation throughout the entire night. I then brought the books into the library and set them up as a bed, lying my body on to them. During the 6 hour performance, I drifted in and out of sleep and felt oddly refreshed and invigorated afterwards.

Video by Philipp Frackmann

Photos by Elizabeth Wurst