The ones that got away (2005)


‘The Ones That Got Away’

‘The ones that got away’ refers to the dreams I recorded after September the 11th 2001. Trying to retrieve your dreams is like having sand running between your fingers. I had recorded my dreams before; intrigued by the way they often mirrored events that occurred during the day. After September the 11th I began recording my dreams again to see how my sub-conscious would try to deal with this highly fraught period that seemed to penetrate everyone’s psyche right across the planet; I was often surprised by the moral ambiguity of my acts in these dreams.

To make these dream or dusk pictures, I used luminescent pigment, as I wanted to work with a material whose beauty only becomes apparent under extreme circumstances, fragile and inconsistent, like the dreams themselves. And I wanted the material to function like a battery, something that could take and carry a charge, somehow absorbing the tension of the day and polluting the night.

“The injury can not be healed: it extends through time.” Primo Levy

The Hotel room, a place of passage, seemed an appropriate location for a visitor’s dreams. I wanted to show the dream pictures together with a series of pillows I had made from a Dürer drawing dating from 1493. I had been particularly attracted by the tortured and visceral nature of the drawing, which suggested the paradox of sleep as a form of forgetting/oblivion and regeneration. I coated them with the same luminescent material. The pillows and pictures in the hotel room are charged by the violent, almost traumatic discharge of light from the flash heads, juxtaposing the brutality of the instant with the duration of the slow fade.