By picturing our wishes as fulfilled, dreams are of course are taking us into the future. But this future, which the dreamer takes as the present, has been moulded by his indestructible wish into a perfect likeness of the past.
Sharon Kivland’s black and white film To Dream by the Book shows a slow fading in and out of many vignetted images take from Kivland’s extensive collection of old postcards, which one may think of as thoughts from another place. In the middle of the film there will be a break without images to allow for the turning over from side A to side B of the vinyl LP To Dream by the Book, which accompanies the film, playing throughout the day on a vintage record-player. A hundred readers recorded the stuff of dreams, those with a spatial quality (though perhaps this is true of the structure of all dreams), from Sigmund Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams. (Michel Foucault called Freud the most famous ear of our epoch). Freud points out, comparing dream-content (what is represented) with dream-thought (which instigates the dream, turning the text of the unconscious into a play), that content and its account is ‘brief, meagre, and laconic’ in relation to the complexity and richness of the dream-thought. The dramatisation of the dream is reported, a second edition of an earlier text, but the dream is something new, in which an old wish makes its return. The postcard images at times intersect with the text, yet largely disrupts or displaces it.
The film is a single-screen projection. There should be a table, two chairs, one for the invigilator, who turns over the LP (every 19 minutes), one for a listener/viewer. In the middle and end of the film there is a 30-second gap, during which the record should be turned over, the needle placed down after the 30 seconds.
Photo Credit : Eileen Haring Woods
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