A+A Public Art Unit (Ayumi Matsuzaka & Alba Navas Salmerón)

July–August 2006, Saigon, Vietnam
Curated by Motoko Uda, Organized by a little blah blah
part of Japan Festival in Vietnam 2006


Listening to somebody's nightly dreams is funny and a kind of unconsidered trifle. Sometimes we hardly can make out a story and there are lots of cuts and jumps. The contents might be quite private, a sense difficult to grasp. We normally don't tell our dreams to everybody. Listeners might not know how to respond and we feel sorry for bothering the other with small details.

If there is a big meaning of this conversation, it is the action itself. Paradoxically, it is a very warm, valuable behaviour to spend a certain time to listen to somebody's (even a stranger's) dreams connected to unconscious private matters. I would never say it is a waste of time.

We purchased 150 meters of fabric and searched for residents of Saigon to use the fabric as a bed sheet. Forty-one people became active participants. We cut the fabric to specifically fit the size of each participants sleeping place. One week later, we met each participant to listen and learn more about their dreams while they slept. We discussed their experiences together and by using pen and paper, different images, codes, symbols and words evolved. The participant also returned the bed sheet. At this point, they had not told what would be happened with the sheet.

Each bed sheet was then embroidered using the particular images created during the communication between us and the dreamer.

The bed sheet, once used by the dreamer, became very personal and contained physical traces of that dreamer. The unconscious dream is like air. You cannot hold it. It comes and goes... No solid form. Telling dreams, a kind of spinning the incongruous air into a story was captured by us and transformed into embroidery. The moment of understanding during the meeting of artists and participants was described as an essence that could have gravity on sheets.

The original bed sheet was returned to the dreamer.