Pacifier

2018 

Cotton strapping, silicon, aluminium, medical elastic, plastic fasteners

Dimensions variable according to head shape of wearer

Muzzle

2018

Dental metal, silicon mouthguard, cotton strapping, medical elastic, plastic fasteners
Dimensions variable according to head shape of wearer

Retainer

2018

Warning letter

17 x 28cm

Playing on the instrustmentalisation of sleep—its utilisation as a means for the performance of productivity, rather than, say, as an activity in its own intimate right—these mouth sculptures are constructed from readily available props, recommended within certain clauses and by certain health advisors, all of which hold the function of increasing the depth of sleep. Mouthguards, anti-grinding pads, tongue stablisers, nose clips, breathing masks, jaw straps. With these apparatuses being made for occupying the mouth, all that can be thought of is the absence of speech. Influenced by this negation of the oral—or the pacification of self—proposed by these over-the-counter antidotes, the mouth sculptures transpose these standard instruments as a means to generate new forms of poetic subversion, functioning as a kind of strategic sedative, if you will.

This work was exhibited in the ongoing exhibition series Sleeping with a Vengeance, Dreaming of a Life, curated by Ruth Noack and so far held at Yellow Brick, Athens (June 1 – 2, 2018), lítost, Prague (August 31 – September 28, 2018), and Institute for Provocation, Beijing (October 7 –  November 1, 2018). 

Sleeping with a Vengeance, Dreaming of a Life takes a close look at contemporary politics of sleep and asks whether we can reclaim sleep and dreaming from the clutches of late capitalism. In Jonathan Crary’s book 24/7: Terminal Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep, sleep has been turned into a resource, tied to production, consumption, warfare and biopolitics. We are simultaneously enticed to sleep less and to sleep productively. Can sleep instead be configured as a radical, subversive activity? Can the act of dreaming, sleep's correlate, be imagined a political deed? If sleep were to obstruct the cycle of capitalist production and social reproduction, would the sleeper be able to dream up a better life, a better future?

View exhibition catalogue here, co-edited by Ruth Noack and Isabelle Sully.

 

View Lulu Journal #4 here, edited by Ruth Noack on the topic and including the research essay 'Bodies that Walk in Public Are Primed' by Isabelle Sully.