The distinction between sleeping and waking is probably one of the most important in the history of modern art, dating back at least to the time when psychoanalysis exerted its influence on avant-garde movements such as Surrealism. Now, with our 24/7 society, the nonstop demands of work, consumption, and even social media are becoming harmful to our health. “Insomnia,” curated by the departing director of Bonniers Konsthall, Sara Arrhenius, presented itself as an attempt to map “the mental and cultural state that this constant accessibility creates.”
What kind of navigation points did this exhibition-as-map offer? In the first place, some usual suspects. Iconic works by Maya Deren, Andy Warhol, and the Croatian Conceptualist Mladen Stilinović delineated a kind of historical horizon. The photographic series “Artist at Work,” 1978, showing Stilinović sleeping, has often been read as
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