Sleep. We all do it. Be it blissful and faithful escape, or tortuously intermittent toss and turn—we humans spend, on average, one-third of our entire lives sleeping. The American Visionary Art Museum proudly presents its scientifically-sound, philosophically playful, grandly communal, “romp in the hay” in its latest, all-new exhibition, “The Science and Mystery of Sleep.” It premieres Saturday, October 10, in AVAM’s third floor gallery of the Zanvyl Kreiger Main Building. Anchored by three fantastical, handmade bedrooms created by visionary artists as personal refuge, the exhibition explores the latest scientific research behind sleep as both force majeur to our total wellbeing and hypnagogic portal, enabling fresh revelations in science, art, and creative innovation of all sort. “We hope visitors leave this exhibition far more devoted to, and knowledgeable about, their own personal sleep practice and its betterment,” says museum founder, director, and show curator, Rebecca Hoffberger.
The sleep research punctuating this exhibition covers a multitude of topics: the impact of sleep on obesity and diabetes, traffic and workplace accidents, test scores and crankiness among adolescents, and the influence of sleep on hormones and the size of testicles (!).
Ever true to uncovering just where and how human beings gain their most visionary insights, the exhibition also presents a powerful film on the creative geniuses who consciously use the Hypnagogic state—the experience between wakefulness and sleep. The films include an interview with famed geneticist/virologist and narcoleptic Dr. George Church, and Baltimore’s own artist/performer, Landis Expandis. Both are in good company of purposeful sleep-inspired creatives from Leonardo DaVinci to Mary Shelly. The latter is the author of Frankenstein, a work inspired by the unbridled dream phase. Visitors will be encouraged to learn the power of this sleep state to problem solve and as gateway to unfettered wonder!
- Visionary bedroom sets by Noche Crist, Sam “The Dot Man” McMillan, and Adrian Kellard.
- Blankets by textile artist Deborah Berger
- Original footage of interview with famed virologist Dr. George Church
- Music video “Sleep Schedule” by Landis Expandis, awarded a Best of Baltimore
- Images of Alex Grey’s paintings, “Insomnia” and “Dying” (“Sleep is 1/60 of death and Dreams are 1/60 of Prophecy” – The Talmud)
- African wooden and Chinese porcelain antique pillows
- Alessandro Sicioldr’s haunting painting of dream imagery