Miriam Schmidtke (DE)

Our sleep is more fragile than we are

ARGEkultur, hall | free admission

It is nighttime. A cultural anthropologist is practising her speech for a big audience. A woman in a bathroom is tackling the traces of insomnia on her face. A neurologist, scientist in a secret sleep lab commissioned by the Pentagon, is listening to the interview transcripts with her patients. They can all be observed through a spatial cross-section. Three characters, united by the inevitable reference system of all human existence – the metre of sleeping and not sleeping. Three opposing activities that are linked by a common goal: by the search of a strategy to eventually get something useful out of bedtime. Despite all efforts and modern research methods, sleep has not yet been fully explored. Science is trying to overcome the primordial need to sleep, but their efforts are still in their infancy. Our sleep is the last fragile bastion, which we need to protect against our society's longing for improvement – this is what the performance-installation “Our sleep is more fragile than we are” tells us of.

Concept, script and stage direction: Miriam Schmidtke | Acting: Anna-Maria Hadorn | Stage and costume design: Miriam Schmidtke | Video: Martin Hofmann, Cyprien Leduc, Martin Siemann | Technological equipment: Martin Siemann, Cyprien Leduc | Assistance equipment/stage construction: Theresa Reiwer, Christina Chelaru, Lili Avar, Sebastian Neumann | Assistance stage technology: Stefan Reineke, Julian Eric Christian

© Roman Hagenbrock

Miriam Schmidtke (*1991), a media artist, studied room scenarios, stage design as well as sculpture in Berlin and Tokyo. Her work moves along the intersections between stage direction, performance, sculpture and video. The focus of her installations and her productions are constructed spaces, choreographed motion sequences and the performance of female characters in postmodern society. She lives and works in Berlin.