One Night of Sleep (2013)

Series of Photograms

View of ‘One Night of Sleep’ at Taymour Grahne Gallery, New York © Taymour Grahne

View of ‘One Night of Sleep’ at Art Factum Gallery, Beirut

View of ‘One Night of Sleep’ at Art Factum Gallery, Beirut

‘One Night of Sleep # 2’

‘One Night of Sleep # 3’

‘One Night of Sleep # 4’

‘One Night of Sleep # 6’

‘One Night of Sleep # 7’

‘One Night of Sleep # 8’

‘One Night of Sleep # 9’

‘One Night of Sleep # 10’

‘One Night of Sleep # 13’

One Night of Sleep (2013)

Series of 14 Photograms (printed on black and white Ilford paper). 180 x 95 cm each.
Handprints made by Agop Kandeljian, with the assistance of Vartan Kilislian, at studio Varoujian, Lebanon.

This series of photograms comes within the continuity of the video and photography work ‘Sleep’ made in 2004. Over a period of months, I attempted to capture the movement of my body and the passage of time while sleeping, on photographic paper. These camera-less images are at once imprints of a physical presence and records of immaterial time unfolding. They pay tribute to both Yves Klein’s body paintings Anthropometries’ and Andy Warhol’s film ‘Sleep’.

At first I experimented using various papers and lighting devices of different degrees and colors. Then for a period of three months, twice a week I would sleep on the photographic paper placed on a wooden board, under a ceiling light, which was programmed with various times of exposure depending on the day. Each night my sleeping length varied. Every Friday I would go to the studio of the late Setan Varoujian with photographer Agop Kandeljian to reveal the prints. The first time nothing came out. The very first print was almost entirely black, I had overslept or moved too much during my sleep. I tried again and one day, something appeared on the paper.