Can a dream be a premonition of the future? What do dreams mean and what can we learn from them? How are dreams born?
Second part to Jaana Partanen´s trilogy of exhibitions about the mysteries of human mind, Mental Alchemy – Matrix Layer delves into the world of dreams and dreaming. We spend about 1/3 of our lives sleeping. When evening turns to night, time zone by time zone we fall asleep. Dreaming is common to all humanity. When we close our eyes an fall asleep we enter to a subconscious world where everything is possible. In dream we possess abilities we can only dream about awake.
There is a mythical aspect to dreaming. The dream state is familiar to the belief systems of many ancient cultures from the dream catchers of Native Americans to the creation myths of Australia’s Aboriginals. In Matrix Layer Ms. Partanen continues her exploration of the secrets of the human mind. The artist approaches the thematic of sleep with the help of experts who have investigated dreams through personal experience or by the means of scientific research.
The subject of premonition dreams continues to be a subject of interest, debate and discussion even today. During sleep our minds can receive messages and ideas. Rest unleashes creativity. Sleep is the subject for scientific research at dream laboratories around the world. Using new imaging techniques our knowledge about sleep and dreaming increases every day. We are intrigued by the idea of controlling our dreams in the manner of Trinity or Neo of the Matrix movies. Is it really possible to control our sleep reality?
Matrix Layer approaches the thematic of sleep with the help of experts who have investigated dreams through personal experience or by the means of scientific research. Ms. Partanen prepared the exhibition by interviewing them. Matrix Layer has also attracted other interesting partners in co-operation for example musicians, software experts, professional designers, furniture manufacturer, loudspeaker and projector companies, dancers and circus performers.
We have seen here the outcome of the artist’s efforts, but we can only guess how she has brought all this about. What kind of work has gone into producing it? The musical documentary tells the story of the exhibition. The spotlight is on the people involved in the project.
The roots of the dream theme go back to Ms. Partanen’s year of solitude, when she had fantastic visions and experiences in her sleep. At that time, the dream visions transformed into text and, finally, into an entire set of artworks entitled Dream’s Gift. Ms. Partanen realised the works with the paraffin casting technique which she had developed herself and which had not been used before with photographs. The basis of the works was the negatives of her life till then.
The set also gave birth to the Dream’s Gift book, in which the artworks are intertwined with words and phrases, together creating a unique collection of stories, experiences and impressions of the rich world of dreams.
The dream theme has thus remained the inspiration Ms. Partanen’s art decade after decade, although seen from very different angles.
Unen lahja -publication
Unen lahja, Partanen & Lamusuo Oy, 2014.
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