The Crypt of St Pancras Church

Windsor McCay, detail of the 8th November 1908 episode of Little Nemo in Slumberland.

Windsor McCay, detail of the 8th November 1908 episode of Little Nemo in Slumberland.

Exhibition Dates: 27 February–3 March 2014

The Crypt of St Pancras Church
Euston Road
London NW1 2BA
Access by Duke’s Road

Hours: 12-6pm

Participants: Karina Akopyan, Alma Bakiaj, Susan Beattie, Vera Bohl, Susie Calvert, Mona Choo, Valentin Dommanget, Andy Flett, Kelise Franclemont, Jing Hu, Jonathan Kelham, Charlotte Wendy Law, Lingbo Liu, Stéphane Mallarmé, Mary McFerran, Eric Nofzinger, Alexandra Pace, Boris Raux, Teresa Braula Reis, Benjamin Renoux, Hans Richter, Mehmet Ulusahin.

Opening evening: 26 February 6:30-8:30 pm with performances by Vera Bohl, Charlotte Wendy Law, Kelise Franclemont

In his 1958 book The Poetics of Space, Gaston Bachelard put forth the crypt as the foremost metaphor for the space of our darkest fantasies and strangest reveries, tying the unconscious to the poetry of depth. The exhibition Live In Your Dreams! invites the participating artists to reimagine the Crypt of St Pancras Church as the site of a collective dream. As much as the metropolitan aboveground resembles a restless subject obsessed with rational efficacy and unfaltering productivity, this subterranean vault, built in 1822 and concealed under one of the busiest neighbourhoods of London, makes room for irrationality and imagination, reversing the order of above.

Responding to the image of the oneiric depth, participants have appropriated the place to fill it with dreams, which they represent in their diverse languages – painting, illustration, sculpture, installation, sound, photography, video, music, writing, neurobiology and performance. Ranging from raw extract of dream-memories to lateral analysis of the unconscious process, the variety of strategies reflects a manifold relationship between dreaming and artistic practice. Some of the artists celebrate the immediate newness produced by the protean forces dear to the Surrealists, and open the fields of phantasmagoria, nightmare, day-dreaming and hallucination. Others address art’s  attempt to grasp the elusive and fleeting substance of dreams – those of the I, of the Other, or shared across the social sphere.

By engaging with the many ways dreams nurture artistic work, this exhibition aims to explore the artist’s status as a dreamer, a poet, an analyst, a visionary, a loony. It hopes to show that the dialogue between art and unconscious remains a playful and inexhaustible terrain.

Curator: Stéphane Verlet-Bottéro


Download the exhibition catalogue (PDF).

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