Interactive sound installation
production: Adem vzw, Cyland MediaLab
The core element of the “Sleeper” installation is a tapestry. Le Corbusier referred to it as a “portable form of mural”. During the Middle Ages and Renaissance these handwoven wall-hangings, in which the interweaving of threads forms not only the design but also the fabric itself, were in high demand particularly thanks to their portability: they could be easily rolled and transported from one place to another. Amongst other subjects, tapestries featured power symbols including mottos and coats of arms of noble families. Aside from their practical function, which is to preserve warmth, they allowed, for example, a spacious throne room to be easily set off. Traditionally tapestries featured religious, mythological and allegorical plots, hunting scenes, triumphs, battles and other motifs.
In the “Sleeper” installation Alexandra Dementieva considers tapestry a form of picture. It is worth noting that the size that she chooses, 55х77 cm, corresponds not only to the average size and aspect ratio of a cabinet easel painting but also to one of the typical television screen ratios of the last century. The tapestries arranged along the whole perimeter of the space imitate a picture gallery. Each of them is based on a still image from Woody Allen’s film “Sleeper” (1973). However, the stills serve only as a basis for the images since all of them have been completely transformed “glitched” practically beyond recognition as though resulting from a computer breakdown during the viewing of the film. However the order of the narrative development is rigorously preserved still images are arranged in the same sequence that they appear in the film. In some of them one can discern particular scenes and characters, however the tapestries gradually turn into something similar to abstract painting. Using the iOS or Android platforms one can link up to the work to clearly hear the soundtrack of the film and a story of this tapestry. All in all we are presented with a picture gallery, each tapestry of which is both an interactive symbol of the past century and a certain prospect for the future. It is no coincidence that currently abstract painting is again of interest.