Perhaps Graham is gesturing toward an enlargement of Breton’s famous proclamation: ‘I believe in the future resolution of the states of dream and reality, in appearance so contradictory, in a sort of absolute reality, or surréalité, if I may so call it’. But how we think about ‘absolute reality’ has become more complicated, and the stakes are higher than Breton could ever have envisioned. Graham no longer points to Breton’s resolution of dream and reality, instead he is that resolution. Sleeping under the effects of the drug, Graham gently bobs on the van’s back seat wearing the Halcion daze. The look on his face naturally makes you feel a tinge of envy. The artist is someone transported somewhere else, to a place remote in time and place. From where we stand on the outskirts, he appears to journey toward his self’s centre. True, he has given up his faculties, but given them up to a different, otherwise unavailable set. The relationship of artist to audience is made perfectly clear: the softly effulgent rear window hovers above Graham’s head as would a thought balloon in a cartoon. Only Graham can ‘see’ where he is going, leaving us in the realm of hand-me-down experiences, staring into the silently glowing waves of passing lights and attempting to reconstruct where he has been.
halcion sleep (1994/2012) from clint enns on Vimeo.
video made for my augmented reality assignment in "future cinema II" at york university.augmented reality is used to enhance conceptual artist rodney graham's 1994 seminal work halcion sleep.