Slow Wave Sleep
Collaboration with Meile Sposmanyte for the BunkerLove festival 2012 · Furreby beach near Løkken, Denmark
This was a video installation in the tunnel adjoining a bunker which was one of a series of bunkers that formed a part of the Second front of Hitler's so called Atlantic Wall, a system of fortifications along the western coast of Europe and up the coast of Norway, which were built between 1942 and 1944 as a defence against the Allies and England in particular. The wall can be seen as a symbol of walls everywhere – attempts to fence in or fence out other people or nationalities.
The title of the work refers to the deepest part of the sleep cycle and is also known as deep sleep, but it also refers to the lapping of the waves around the bunkers, the erosion of the coastline and nature's slow but inevitable reclamation and absorption of the bunkers.
We responded to the small niches in the bunkers, the tunnels, holes, nooks and crannies and the dark, secret spaces contained within the imposing solidity of the constructions. In these small, crooked spaces there is a vulnerability, and the dimensions of the human being, some of which have become squeezed and diminished by the sinking and tilting of the bunkers as they sink into the sand.
This tilting is like the tilting of the body in the sleep process. Somewhere between the states of wakefulness and sleep, between the conscious and the unconscious. Sleep is a state in which the mind and body are no longer completely in control. They function, but on a very limited, impotent level, dreaming of action, but unable to effect it. This is much like the state of a country under occupation, where day to day activities still take place, but in the control of an occupying force. The bunkers are a potent symbol of this occupying force.
Our work for the bunker consisted of a projection of a video of a young girl in a state of sleep. This was projected onto the far wall of a small tunnel which was once part of one of the bunkers,but has become slightly detached from the bunker itself.
The bunkers are both a symbol of a powerful, occupying force, but also a symbol of the temporary nature of man's power in the context of the power of time and nature.
Slow Wave Sleep