Artist tries to sleep, perchance to dream, for inspiration to weave a blanket
Tuesday 01 March 1994
For the next few weeks, she is spending the night in the contemporary gallery plugged into a Rapid Eye Movement machine that records her dream patterns. By day, waking up to a graph spanning 1,000ft of paper, she weaves natural wool and shredded strips of her nightdress into a blanket work of art she calls Slumber. She follows the zig-zagging on her REM recording as precisely as lines on a dress pattern.
She has built a giant loom to incorporate a bed and 316 spools of wool. 'I am sculpting from my dreams,' she explained, adding that each night she goes to sleep under the blanket she weaves. 'In effect, I sleep with my dreams again.'
At first, both jet-lag and the creepiness of an empty gallery interfered with both her sleep and her dreams. But by the third night, with a little help from some late-night stimulants - chocolate and cheese - the graph worked like a dream.
Ms Antoni came to prominence last year with her show at the New York Whitney, when she displayed chocolate, chewed and spat out into a minimalist cube. 'I sculpted with my mouth instead of a hammer and chisel,' she said. At the D'Offay Gallery last year, she produced a work that involved her painting the floor with her flowing, long hair 'as if it were a paintbrush'. Her paint was black hair dye.
Slumber is at the D'Offay Gallery's new space, at 24 Dering Street, from today until 16 April.
Photograph: Nicholas Turpin
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