Night Porter

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Night Porter, 1993 16mm to SD, color, sound, 6 min, 15 sec

The picture is split vertically on the screen. At the left side a man is on the floor in a cocoon like sleeping bag. This man is me. The erratic movements I make are the movements I made during a six-hour stretch of sleep, filmed in stop-motion. I switched the camera on, and went to sleep. Two weeks later, after the film had been developed, I could observe myself from a distance in an unconscious state. It felt very odd and was taken aback by it somewhat. I imagined this is what it must be like to see yourself after you’re dead. On the right side a scene takes place in a doorway and a dim-lit hall. A man, also me, wearing a black raincoat removes the door hinges. A dog appears out of the dim lit space behind the door. The man lugs the door (now removed from the frame) around, shielding himself with it. Then the man lets some white chickens escape from inside his coat. Finally the dog walks along the corridor and out of the picture. While this takes place the sleeping figure at the left side of the picture makes some erratic movements, turns over and goes on sleeping. I liked the idea of combining a consciously constructed dream with an observation of myself during the unconscious moments of sleep.