Last weekend we witnessed a unique all-night vernissage of the exhibition Insomnia at Bonniers Konsthall with a total duration of 12 hours filled with performances, workshops, live music, DJs, and rituals. The vernissage started at 6:39 pm and lasted until the gallery’s doors closed at 6:40 am. The rituals of the sunset and sunrise framed the whole event.
The gallery was completely full and the art-interested crowd was delighted with a variety of performances. They were offered everything from readings to hypnotism and to the blending of poetry, music, dance and the plastic art of Wu Tsang. During this last performance a painting was created on a huge, probably 5×5 metres canvas on which the dancer traced his art by pouring paint over the body and moving across the canvas dancing. The colours thereby expressed the movements of the body.
But what is Insomnia?
Insomnia is a collective exhibition where 7 contemporary artists using different media from the arts they master, project their own interpretation and abstraction of a phenomenon that overcomes all cultural, social and linguistic boundaries, the wakefulness during the absence of sleep.
All of the artists’ works have different approaches to this commonly known place where sleep and wakefulness blend. We have for example the very detailed animations of a female character by artist Kate Cooper touching on questions about image, representation and labour in the digital age.
Then we have the artist Rafaël Rozendaal, who beside having his work displayed at Bonniers Konsthall also has taken over the gallery’s website in the night-time. He is also currently displaying on commercial billboards at Stureplan in the centre of Stockholm. Rozendaal‘s work plays with the idea of the ever active, always accessible modern human-being.
Perhaps one of the key pieces of the entire exhibition is Carsten Höller‘s Two Roaming Beds (Grey), 2015 which consists of two identical robotic beds with an automatic steering system. The two beds wander around the exhibition space in a synchronized pattern. Both beds have pens attached to them so as they move they draw patterns on the floor, thereby leaving a trace that becomes part of the exhibition. Any visitor has the unique opportunity to book an overnight stay and spend a night in the gallery alone or together with a friend. As the beds move around, the visitors will be driven exploring the deserted art space while they sleep. Imagine daring to spend the night on one of the Two Roaming Beds and having the rare experience of falling asleep in one spot in the room and waking up somewhere else! And what’s more, as a part of the overnight stay at the exhibition the visitor will receive an Insensatus Kit with 4 tubes. One of the tubes is larger than the other three and containing an activator tooth paste. The smaller tubes contain three substances that evoke dreams related to the female, male and infantile worlds. Users can adjust the intensity and outcome of the desired dreams by combining the toothpastes. Talking about a once in a lifetime experience!
The exhibition will be open until January 18th, when they will have a closing event with music, a performance, talks and a film screening. Check Bonniers Konsthall’s calendar as during all the months the exhibition will be in place they will have a full range of events such as talks with the artists themselves, guided tours and even days where you can visit the gallery with kids and baby strollers as they will have activities for the little ones as well.