Exhibition "Freedom Of Sleep" curated by Anabelle Lacroix, 21 April - 16 May 2021 at Fondation Fiminco, Paris.

Katja Aglert is a Swedish artist based in Stockholm and the artistic leader and co-director of the Seed Box environmental humanities collaboratory. She often works on long-term research-based investigations situated within feminist, more-than-human imaginaries, and ecology related inquires.

Penumbra Tales (2021) by Katja Aglert

Penumbra Tales (2021) by Katja Aglert

In Penumbra Tales Katja Aglert explores diverse imaginaries of penumbra relations, connected to some of the themes that she has been working with for many years. Penumbra as performative matter is explored as a potential for vision and sensorial perception, and for something in becoming (without an end).  With storytelling through more-than-human encounters, the artist explores how the sensorial can create new imaginaries, beyond the centralities of the human. The penumbra being a liminal subject matter, it relates to the artist’s long-term exploration of possibilities for art to materialise ideas beyond the static concept of a world categorically divided by pre-existing boundaries.

The art work is a 4-channel sound installation, black light, octagonal room and wallpaper. The penumbra, in latin meaning ‘almost shadow’, carries an ambivalence that could be understood as ‘an area that lies on the edge of something’. In astrology it means a partially illuminated shadow, like the luminous crescent during an eclipse.

A Cross-disciplinary exhibition

Freedom of Sleep is a cross-disciplinary exhibition which explores the desynchronisation between bodies and society. This exhibition investigates night-time and sleeplessness as forms of dissent, spaces for self-transformation, awakening and action. In the face of a blinding society running uninterrupted 24 hours a day, this curatorial research aims to reflect upon the desynchronisation of bodies through their relations to norms, productivity, efficiency, attention, distraction, alertness, free time and inertia, as well as through movements of awakening and collapsing. Many people suffer from sleep disorders caused by stress, anxiety and screen time. These are the consequences of the so-called ‘cognitive capitalism’ within a ‘feel good at all costs’ economy. Our insomnias might even have worsen and our bodies become more restless now that our nights have been cancelled under lockdown. Anxiety, however, could be seen as beneficial for it tells us that something is not right, and paying attention to it could inspire us to act for our own sakes and the world’s. Through artistic experiences focusing on the act of listening and through performed and sonic practices, this project aims to subvert insomnia in order to rethink nighttime and its events along with the relationships between our bodies, our biorhythms and society.