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Art

While you were sleeping, someone photographed you

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Photo: Krystal Ramirez

The Details

I’m Sorry We Lied
Through May 10
Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; free
Winchester Cultural Center, 455-7340

Frustrated by the way friends tried to control photographs of themselves, artist Krystal Ramirez began capturing them at their most submissive: while they were sleeping.

In the resulting I’m Sorry We Lied, Ramirez not only presents her subjects with their defenses down, she exposes them to the extent that we might as well be digging through their medicine cabinets, raiding their fridges and reading their journals, if not snuggling up next to them and sniffing their hair.

Using a camera left in their bedrooms and set on a timer that snapped a photo every five minutes (in exposures between 30 and 120 seconds), Ramirez controlled only the angle of the shot and the ambient lighting in closets and hallways. The exhibit—scattered with more than 35 images in color and black and white—features couples, families and solo sleepers in various stages of repose. Couples entwine and uncoil limply through the night. A comatose man cuddles with his equally knocked-out giant cat.

During all of this a video plays of an interview with a young man sharing personal stories of his life, edited to seem ambiguous. Also included are statements repeated almost obsessively on paper. But it’s the sleepers who steal the show. They lie half-naked and unconscious in rooms of varying degrees of mess and décor for us to examine, an intimacy that, for some, has proven uncomfortable, Ramirez says.

But for sleep junkies and those who appreciate sleep in art—whether in works by Andy Warhol, Lucian Freud or Adi Nes—I’m Sorry We Lied takes a fascinating stroll through the sleep den with a skilled photographer who left the project to the mercy of friends agreeing to participate, switch on the camera and check out.

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Kristen Peterson

Kristen Peterson joined the Las Vegas Sun in 1998 as a general assignment reporter. In 2003, she turned her focus ...

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