Paula Modersohn–Becker Museum, Bremen
Schläft ein Lied in allen Dingen
Die da träumen fort und fort,
und die Welt hebt an zu singen,
trifft du nur das Zauberwort.
Josef von Eichendorff
(Sleeps a song in all things
They keep on dreaming,
and the world is starting to sing,
you only hit the magic word.)
Josef von Eichendorff
Eichendorff describes the world and the things in it as sleeping and dreaming. So also a museum or its elaborately designed brick facade. They wait to be awakened and made to sing by the right (lyrical / poetic) word. Words are per se magic words, they are there to call experienced, felt, sensed and to tear from his sleep, making it available, comprehensible and communicable. But what if the person to be named evades any sensory experience?
“What's this? Man sees it, and when he finally reaches it, he does not get to know it.”
(Leonardo da Vinci)
Sleep still eludes our personal experience and, for the most part, any scientific knowledge, even though it occupies nearly a third of our lifetime. We need it, but we have no tools to consciously perceive, explain, or understand it. In it, sleep resembles his “brother,” death.
To describe a thing is therefore the one thing, but to elicit a song from sleep is a completely different one. The magic word that Eichendorff covers is ultimately the word that evokes sleep.
Countless words, compounds and paraphrases, often in a very flowery, richly illustrated language try to get to the bottom of the secret of sleep in German.
The work SCHLAFWANDELN is now undertaking an interesting experiment on the outside facade of the Paula Modersohn–Becker Museum in Bremen. It takes up the word sleep and some of his word formations and throws them back animatedly and typographically back to the things that are going on in front of them. The projected words connect with the museum faÃ§ade, altering its form and legibility, and communicate with it. By linking the words to the brick wall encoded with patterns and symbols, it comes to life, is awakened from its slumber and begins to “sing”.
That this happens just with the word SLEEP, appears only at first glance as a paradox. At a second glance, it is precisely the uniqueness of sleep, through the absence of consciousness and body tension, to awaken new power, energy and life.
By the way, through the visual reflection, the typographic game with this term opens up new insights into the mystery of sleep.