Sheila Goloborotko’s 1001 Dreams

Urban interventions operate in order to awaken us from an almost lethargic routine, from our paths that are taken several times everyday, like sleepwalkers impervious to the dynamic and hectic environment of today’s daily life.

In 1001 Dreams, Sheila Goloborotko proposes that awakening to the people of two great world metropolises. In this action there isn’t anything such like a loud and shrill alarm, such as the ones often heard in urban life, but a gentleness of a loving gesture from someone that wakes the sleeper with the subtlety of a cuddle. The artist’s strategy aims at people passing by who will be faced unexpectedly with a dream pillow deposited in a particular place in town. From this moment on, he or she encounters someone else’s dream through a narrative and an image in dialogue printed on the pillow.

On the pillow there is a request for those who find it: that this person posts dream at a blog that is part of this work in process. Therefore, the work is created by the concatenation of narratives and images of dreams. It should be noted that this chain that links people refers to ring-alike figures, a form recurrent in this artist’s recent works, which relates to an object whose existence depends on its own connective function. These ring-links are visited and revisited, transformed from matrix into prints, then into installation and now into intervention. Thus, a community of innermost desires connected by the action and reaction of each participant starts to be formed through the collaboration of individual dreamers in São Paulo and New York.

The title is inspired by One Thousand and One Nights and, following the strategy of Scheherazade; Sheila weaves a great story made up of other stories that intertwine. One hundred dreams are narrated ten times each until they create the final narrative – each pillow is reproduced ten times and spread across ten different locations around the cities.

The verse “I have spread my dreams under your feet”, by the Irish poet W. B. Yeats, is also the basis for the idea of ​​work. The speaker of the poem wants to offer readers “heavens’ embroidered cloths”, made of light and shadow, that dwell in heaven. If in order to weave, as we know, one must interlace loose threads, the fabric of dreams of the intervention will be made ​​by the artist by using the stories of many dreams received to create a final dream, a web-dream. The last verse of Yeats’ poem is as subtle as Sheila’s proposal: “Tread softly because you tread on my dreams”.

The third reference is a sentence by the psychiatrist Carl Jung, for whom the dream analysis was a form of self-knowledge and therefore of the awakening of one’s own self.

The dream that opens the series has a bucolic feeling to it. In it the protagonist moves towards a tree that he or she see in the distance. After great effort, when the tree is finally reached, the dreamer climes to its top from where he or she sees the Empire State Building, the Eiffel Tower and “the whole world.” This world seems, therefore, made of icons of New York and Paris that can replace even the names of those cities without leaving any doubt to what they refer to. At the same time, these cities are exemplary in regard to the large influx of people and, therefore, they bring together a variety of dreams: either of those who come to stay or of those who are acquainted only with their more prominent icons worn out by excessive reproduction. After all, life in the cities is like the world of dreams, full of illusions. The fuzzy, uncertain, image, which Sheila creates for the first collected dream, is the promise of this dream-like vision, a vision that knows no limits.

Ana Cândida de Avelar