What takes place between slumber and awakening is notor not automatically, at leastthe rediscovery of the world just as we left it before sleeping. Rather, a minuscule crack emerges that something can sneak through—something not entirely of this world or reducible to a person and their psychology. Awakening is the most dangerous of moments, a space between the fantastic universe of dreams and the world established by reality, a moment of “foggy lucidity,” a precarious transition in which something unheard of could happen. Awakenings as such are not only related among themselves, but through themselves. In the space of dreams, awakening is a temporary configuration that shakes vehemently, tailored to each person. However, what would happen if a collective dynamics were configured in that awakening? Can the construction of a collective dormitory lead us to crossed and interwoven dreams—in other words, to the construction of configurations not necessarily identical to each other but symmetrical in their awakening? What does it mean to write the history of a cross, of a lacs d’amour?
It has been written that FRANCE FICTION have described themselves as a highly adaptable person—who for the lack of a better term could described as a plastic. At Museo Experimental El Eco, this plastic is furthered on the subconscious plane through an act of speech triggered to the surface by recorded awakenings. Exhaustive and durational, FRANCE FICTION have spent days and nights in collective isolation at the museum building stories, protocols, and rhythms whose resulting brain pattern—if it were to be recorded—would show up as a strange configuration. It would build an account of secret deals, pacts, and intimacies indescribably impalpable, though physical as well.
At the hems of time, hours in FRANCE FICTION’s consciousness are otherworldly because they are constantly agitated. Cusped in the hand of a watchman who weaves the journey of the dream, time is materially and mentally deferred. It is a pursuit sought out through conflicts and desires swaying indefinitely on a sea of differences and kinships. “De pronto salimos del sueño, solo vinimos a soñar, no es cierto, no es cierto, que vinimos a vivir sobre la tierra” as Tochihuitzin would cry. A beautiful and somniferous dream whose taste is offered in a concoction. A sleep inductive track. Melatonin in a potato whip. Lassi hinted with vodka dew. Coconuts resting on empty vessels where the maguey goddess Damiana of Baja California offers her seductive vapor for those to drink. The sleight of hand of the gambler visitor who invented the sandwich for the dreamers to consume. If dreams are fitful, the question becomes where do they turn in their awakening? Where do they escape to when abandoned? When sheltered in the horizon of dislocation? For FRANCE FICTION this paradox is further muddled into a process of days and nights on a sea of ceaseless awakenings in the construction of one heterogeneous dream.
If dreams are irregular, the question is: where do they go to after awakening? Where do they escape to when abandoned? When did they seek shelter in the horizon of dislocation? For FRANCE FICTION this paradox becomes even murkier in a process of days and nights, in an ocean of ceaseless awakenings, in the construction of a heterogeneous dream.
Jennifer Teets, curator.
For four nights and four days spread over two sessions (from August 10 to 12 and from August 19 to 21 2012), members of FRANCE FICTION shut themselves into the Museo Experimental El Eco, equipped and organized to perform a collective experience devoted to dreaming and the possible exchanges and relationships of these dreams with each other. The work protocol developed by the participants was as follows:
1) NIGHT WATCHMAN / TIME DISCOUNTER
The dream session starts when the shifts begin, after having decided that, day and night, some of the participants would take turns in the role of watchman while the rest sleep or occupy themselves freely.
Time will be discounted, not mechanically or following the universal hours-and-minutes system, but according to the succession of guard shifts measured by the burning of a candle.
The watchman will be in charge of the correct sequence of guard shifts, of keeping time, and keeping the “notebook of dreams” where each participant’s dreams are transcribed.
2) TRANSCRIPT OF DREAMS / NOTEBOOK OF DREAMS
Each participant transcribes their dreams into a personal notebook in order to later gather them in a collective notebook, the “notebook of dreams”. The descriptions of the sleepers’ dreams can be exchanged through this notebook.
3) SPACE FOR SLEEPING, ADMINISTRATION AND WARDROBE
In the museum’s main area there are five hammocks that constitute the common territory of our dreams. The museum’s bar area is devoted to administration, and meals are taken in groups. A large white shirt, designed for this project, and an embroidered black blanket, are the main uniform and accessory for each of the sleepers. The hammocks have individual lamps; no other artificial light will be used.
4) GROUP MEALS
Twice a day, guest collaborators show up to prepare and bring food we will try collectively. These meals—especially those conceived for our sleep sessions—are presented by their creators.
We invited musicians and artists to especially compose or select different music pieces, compiled to accompany the sleepers in their dreams.
6) DREAM OBJECTS
From the dream sessions, the sleepers extract and materialize objects that represent or synthesize their dreams. These objects are gathered to create a common cartography of dreams, their exchanges and concordances.
FRANCE FICTION (founded in Paris, France, 2004; consists of Stéphane Argillet, Marie Bonnet, Eric Camus, Lorenzo Cirrincione, and Nicolas Nakamoto). FRANCE FICTION existed as a space from 2004-2011 in Paris. As a group, it sees itself as one synthetic person, inventing collective event horizons. In addition to dream sessions, FRANCE FICTION produces a variety of forms—from sheer formlessness to editions, from restoring the forgotten grave of Demetrius d’Exarque to producing alchemical ink or playing marbles. As an itinerant poetic and scientific subjectivity, it explores the occult and melancholic dimensions of life.