The Somnambulists is comprised of five miniature wooden theaters into which moving images are projected. It centers on the idea of staging the unconscious. Each theater presents an hysterical drama. These include the case histories "History of a Fixed Idea" and "A Modern Case of Possession," in which two patients of the famous French psycho-pathologist Pierre Janet express their delusions in song. The other theaters present ghostly specters of actual hysterics filmed by doctors a hundred years ago.
This book is a collection of essays and images that inspired the installation. It points to the complex interweaving of ideas from psychology, writing, performance, art, and moving-image technology at the turn of the last century. The text begins with an introduction to the "Players," brief biographies of the scholars, artists, and performers who appear in this volume.
Published Fall 2008 by Christine Burgin
114 pages with black and white illustrations and DVD
An exhibition of the Somnambulists installation is at Bellwether Gallery from August 25 to October 4 2008
A limited edition print of one of the theaters "History of a Fixed Idea" is also published by Christine Burgin.
Discover more about Zoe Beloff's work.