“REM” is an
abbreviation for Rapid Eye Movement, one of the key stages in the sleep
cycle. It is a period of light sleep, a time between deep sleep and waking
up. Indeed, during REM-sleep, the activity of the brain's neurons
is quite similar to that during waking hours. For this reason, it may be called
“paradoxical sleep” and is the time when we are most likely to recollect our dreams.
phenomenon of REM is captured by five series of photographs
and these are described below. All of the photographs are essentially documentary in
style. It should be noted that REM is also of course the name of a rock group. While this project is not explicitly related
to this, homage is paid through the title of one photograph: “Shiny, happy
1. Reality check
black and white photographs are presented which depict people dressed
strangely, caught in bizarre situations or carrying
out odd activities. These events could
easily be stuff of dreams, active imagination and fantasy but are not; they
lie firmly in reality. They could be
considered as examples of the dream/reality paradox.
Garden of Eden” is considered the “Garden of God” and the term “Eden” is
thought to derive from the ancient words for “delight”, “lush” and
“abundant”. The series of twenty
photographs is designed to reflect the concept of dreaming about “beauty”, or
living in this “paradise”, using picturesque examples from the natural and
the man-made world. A sense of irony
is presented in the photograph of the busy, traffic-lined Champs-Elysees in
Paris. This is far from the peaceful
connotations of the Greek mythology meaning of Champs-Elysees (Elysian Fields), which
is the abode of the
blessed after death.
ghosts, skeletons, death and terrifying beasts are
depicted in twenty “horrific” photographs.
are often recalled as single events or images. Some images linger, dominate
and repeat, while others are transient, providing fleeting memories. Sometimes these “flashbacks” are brought
together to form strange narratives.. From the dawn of mankind, trying to make
sense of these dreams and flashbacks has preoccupied many a learned scholar
and just as many charlatans. Thirty
photographs try to illustrate this dilemma of rationalization. Each photograph is essentially random and
singular in nature, being able to be considered on its own merits without
context. However, loose associations
could be made, e.g, the reflection of the poster of
Marilyn Monroe, the sculpture of the big lips and the sculpture of the heart
could represent the concept of desire or love. A further example is the retail sculpture
of the large ice cream, the cow eating an ice cream, the colourful spades and
the seagull which could conjure up memories of a holiday by the sea.
wall art, posters, shop frontages and advertising boards serve a range of
purposes. They may allow an individual
to vent anger and frustration, they may entice customers for commercial gain or they may provide a vehicle for artistic
expression. In almost all cases, they
represent a dream for the future: political change, recognition, self-satisfaction and financial security. The term
“Wonderwall”, the title of the song by the rock group Oasis, seems highly
appropriate to sum up these desires, all of which are based on
representations in 2D media. Ten
montages of photographs are presented, each of which is grouped according to
a particle theme. The themes range
from the nature of the subject matter depicted, e.g.
faces, fantasy or animals, to the nature of the image-making, e.g. sticker
graffiti or advertising boards. The
use of montages was chosen to show the diversity of thoughts that exist. The individual photographs were taken in a large number of places: Newcastle, Exeter, Cambridge,
Paris to name a few. This demonstrates
the pluralistic nature of the use of graffiti etc. as a form of expression.
photographs were taken with digital cameras and processed digitally.
Click here or on REM 2012 on the left hand
side of the screen to see the photographs.