Perchance to Dream

June 21 - August 9, 2013 Back to Exhibitions

Naomi Leshem,  Pauline, France , 2009
Chromogenic print
36.25 x 36.25 inches / 92 x 92 cm
Edition of 5
Naomi Leshem, Pauline, France, 2009
Chromogenic print
36.25 x 36.25 inches / 92 x 92 cm
Edition of 5

Press Release

Perchance to Dream


June 21 - August 9, 2013
Exhibition: June 21 – August 9, 2013
Opening Reception: Friday, June 21, 6-8pm

Summer hours: Monday - Friday, 10am-5pm

Artists: Lili Almog, Daniel Bauer, Mike Brodie, Elinor Carucci, Ofri Cnaani, Charlotte Dumas, Barry Frydlender, Hadassa Goldvicht and Anat Vovnoboy, Martine Fougeron, Tim Hetherington, Pieter Hugo, Gillian Laub, Naomi Leshem, Sally Mann, Duane Michals, Adi Nes, Matthew Pillsbury, Jana Romanova, Anna Shteynshleyger, Louis Stettner, Angela Strassheim, Bertien van Manen, Pavel Wolberg, and Sharon Ya’ari

Andrea Meislin Gallery is pleased to announce Perchance to Dream, a group show featuring 25 artists whose works address themes of sleep and intimacy with a variety of techniques and aesthetics. Taken from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the title of the show comes from the tragic hero’s famous soliloquy in which he considers love, pain, and death, wondering what dreams may come after life. This survey of 25 photographs, one etching, and one video is dynamic despite its supposedly quiet theme. Whether the subjects are peaceful, broken, vulnerable, or playful, the photographs encourage us to consider the dreams that are not laid bare, to insert our own suggestions into the often enigmatic scenarios.

Some of the subjects remind us that sleeping is not always peaceful. In Barry Frydlender’s massive Turning Point, two teenagers sleep amid the disarray and leftovers of the previous night’s frenzied activities – and ignore the sun-saturated room insisting that they wake. Similarly, Bertien van Manen’s Night on a Lake, Beijing offers a diaristic view of a woman sleeping off the effects of a marijuana party, the paraphernalia at her side like a companion. Mike Brodie’s #5065 from A Period of Juvenile Prosperity shows two youths from a community of freight train hoppers sleeping on the hard surface of a freight car, using a shirt and book as pillows. A sense of struggle pervades their brief respite from a grand adventure. In another picture of gritty glory, the subject of Louis Stettner’s Promenade, Brooklyn, New York (1954) splays his arms outward and his head back, taking in the sun and the Manhattan skyline from a park bench – dreaming, or perhaps, living his dream. Pavel Wolberg and Tim Hetherington both portray soldiers in vulnerable states – a group of seven men sleeping on cots at the foot of a tank appear small and powerless; a portrait of a soldier sound asleep, his most oblivious state.

The contemplation of dreams and futures is potent in Jana Romanova’s pair of photographs from her series Waiting, which picture expectant couples sleeping. Amid a tangle of limbs is a pregnant belly, a beautiful and honest tribute to the 40 weeks of anticipation endured by the slumbering parents-to-be. In The Wet Bed, Sally Mann provides an intimate view of her child sleeping; a stain on the sheets adds another layer to the child’s nakedness. Gillian Laub’s Cooper with Wheat Thins, Chappaqua, NY pictures a playful boy snacking in the nude, having fallen asleep with crumbs on his chest in a haven of plush pillows. A mood of disquiet permeates Angela Strassheim’s Untitled, (Waiting Room) as a sick child dozes off on her father’s lap, his face painted with worry. Naomi Leshem’s close-up portrait of a teenager from her series Sleepers allows us to examine the subject in detail. We spy her painted nails, dyed hair, and the shine on her rosy lips, sensing the impending adulthood that she has not quite grown into. Also addressing states of transition, the works of Duane Michals and Ofri Cnaani tap into Hamlet’s attraction to mortality with their dream-like quality and subtle references to death.

Addressing sleep more conceptually, Daniel Bauer scanned every inch of the surface of his own mattress, creating a kind of portrait exposing the evidence of his life. Anna Shteynshleyger, also interested in the surface of the mattress, transforms the mundane into a tactile pattern with a life of its own in Seascape. Sharon Ya’ari’s Hammock depicts the object suspended from a tree branch, weighty and satisfying, yet ambiguous – the source of the shadow seen through the burlap is not revealed.

To create the video Lullaby, Hadassa Goldvicht and Anat Vovnoboy asked personnel from the Israel Museum to recall lullabies that were sung to them or that they sung to their own children. The collage of tunes sung a cappella in various languages suggests a narrative of immigration, the social and emotional effects of which are revealed even during intimate moments of recollection.

For all press inquiries, please contact the gallery at info@andreameislin.com.