Edition of 4: 1999
Mugwort and abaca papers, matches, inkjet printed text and photos, eggshell mosaic
This box keeps a woman’s secrets. Contained inside are two books, each with texts of actual dreams.
The first book holds a poem about a dream, written on matches embedded into the edges of the paper. The matches with their bright blue heads are clearly not burnt: looking at someone else’s dreams can be dangerous. The paper is made from mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris, also known as St. John’s Plant, Sailor’s Tobacco, or Felon Herb), a common weed that was used in colonial times to stuff pillows in the belief that it brought vivid and prophetic dreams. The 2 materials, become a cohesive and inseparable element of the work, offering simultaneously dreams and destruction. The interspersed photo images of young boys add a bitter sweetness to the tale.
“Taking Hold of the Night,” the compendium, is printed on translucent papers so the prose poem of nightmares from a month of actual dreaming overlap and blend with the photo imagery. The foot is used here as a metaphor for vulnerability.