EXTREME SLEEP, 2006–2020
Attempts at getting rid of willingness
action, multichannel video loop
Koronczi’s idea to launch an extreme sleep-experiment was conceived in a different context a few years ago. Its purpose was to force that which is impossible to be forced by will; a kind of metropolitan exploration and self-observation: can we fall asleep anywhere, anytime, whenever we feel like it?
As Koronczi puts it:
“In order to answer a question, let’s try to focus our attention on our attention. Let’s focus our attention on the process of attention.
Let’s try to sleep. Let’s try to fall asleep before the camera so that it records us. As simple as it may seem, this task is very difficult to accomplish. Sleeping is one of the human activities that is the most difficult to do by will. It is impossible to sleep at will or with intention. All the more, to fall asleep requires a lack of will. Will and determination in this case are more of a hindrance than a help. Instead of will and determination, there is a need for balance, inner peace and harmony. Is it possible to achieve this state of mind in a public place? Can I fall asleep in front of a camera in order to be recorded?
During sleep, we are profoundly vulnerable. Achieving a state of calm and lack of will requires a maximum level of trust. Going to sleep requires full acceptance of vulnerability and complete fusion with the environment. Is it possible to intentionally accomplish a state of “willessness” and unconditional trust in the environment?
Experiments are performed at 16 different locations. Is the character really asleep in these scenes? The moments after awakening are telling, but we can’t be sure. The question therefore remains open:
Is it possible to sleep intentionally anywhere, anytime? Is it possible to intentionally deprive yourself of your willpower?”
In the course of the exhibition, the artist will sleep at various places and times, often unexpectedly, i.e. perform an absurd action, which assumes silence and slowing down through undisturbed sleep in the public spaces of the museum. Sleep, and consequently the artist who performs this, will be present sometimes as an “object” displayed, sometimes as a natural form of human behaviour, or as an unobtrusive event. In the context of slowness, this banally simple everyday action undoubtedly refers to a contemplative state of mind.