THE DREAM THAT WOKE UP, Expo Chicago, In Situ


Sep, 13 2016

Shana Lutker
The Dream That Woke Up, September 2016
Dimensions variable

Courtesy Susanne Vielmetter Gallery Los Angeles Projects, Los Angeles
(Booth 212)

Shana Lutker’s mirrored light boxes and hanging piece offer variations on the sentence, “THE DREAM THAT WOKE UP.” Derived from a 1930 poem by Surrealist poet Robert Desnos, Lutker has been working with the line for several years. In French, the title of the poem is, “J’ai tant rêvé de toi,” which translates as, “I’ve Dreamed of You So Much.” But what changes in translation, what is lost? The task of translating poetry is arduous, arguably even impossible, exposing the limits of language, text, and cultural exchange. Much of Lutker’s practice interrogates the subconscious, psychoanalysis, Surrealism, and questions of translation. In her work, dreams are examined as always already failed attempts at rational translations of our unconscious, fragments of narrative caught and held by our waking minds. In the works on view here, Lutker plays with the phrase THE DREAM THAT WOKE UP, writing it in different ways and in different materials in a “font” she made from simple geometric shapes, blurring letters and symbols. These works offer subtle, uncanny moments—repeated encounters with a poignant text that has been fractured and in some instances, rendered illegible—allowing the viewer to move between sentiment and the nonsensical, language and object, experience and mystery.