Sleepless consists of a series of portraits of people who for some reason sleep very little. This project reflects on a surprising fact, that such everyday things as sleeping and dreams are still much of a mystery. From a scientific point of view, it's not really known what the benefits of sleep are for our metabolism and what are the consequences of its lack. From a cultural point of view, it's interesting to look at how the act of sleeping is understood and at the very idea of insomnia, because it leads us to observe how a culture or society relates to the notion of time and its control, night and day, light and darkness, privacy, safety and surveillance, consciousness and oblivion, the notion of health and the definition of pathologies.
The project started from the curiosity to know how people live with sleeplessness. I was interested in looking at lack of sleep as a phenomenon, without limiting it to a specific reason, and I set as the selection criteria that the people portrayed sleep under four hours per day, even if it is only temporarily. I interviewed the participants first and together we decided a place where I would photograph them in relation to their own particular story. During the photographic sessions I asked them to do some kind of relaxation exercises or some meditation.
About the trilogy
Sleepless is the first part of a trilogy that aims to question what it is to be human, by exploring issues of subjectivity in relation to health and disease, 'lack' as a corporeal condition and the imaginary around the body and its control. The second project, No Ma, is about women who are not mothers and are certain they will never be; and the third, Trans, is about people who have had an organ transplant and how this experience may have an impact on their sense of identity. One of the main challenges of this trilogy is to visually explore aspects of the human condition that are not visible.
The motivation behind this trilogy is to address vital experiences that somehow transgress the notion of a 'normal' human subject (established and defined by social norms through scientific/cultural discourse) in order to challenge conventional understandings of the human subject.