The New York-based art collective Dawn of Man has created site-specific video installations that bring peace and tranquility to the “city that never sleeps.” Entitled Projection Napping — which is a clever play on the technique, project mapping — the group transforms peeling walls, dark alcoves, and sky-high edifices into refuges for larger-than-life human beings. In each work, the characters appear to “settle down” into their respective spaces, curling up against the walls or dangling their legs off the edges. In a statement provided to The Creators Project, Dawn of Man explains their creative intent and the effect of their project:
“Projection Napping […] juxtapos[es] the calm, meditative state of napping against the kinetic, high energy noise of the sleepless city. An unsuspecting audience usually emerges at each location, often sparked with intrigue, sometimes enlightenment, and always a whole lot of questions” (Source).
What is also fascinating about the juxtaposition of the city’s chaos with the sleepers’ serenity is the public demonstration of a private experience. When we sleep (or nap), we allow ourselves to become open and vulnerable. Thus, when Dawn of Man’s sleeping giants turn over, rub their eyes, or lean exhaustedly against a wall, we are voyeurs to a moment of intimacy and perceived solitude. It is easy in the city to feel alienated from the life all around us, but thanks to this fascinating project, barren walls and cold architecture have been reinvested as landscapes of warmth and humanity.