Sleepless project began in 1999 and went on until 2004 in the city of Barcelona and continued, through public participation, during the “Urbanitas” exhibition at the Vigo Museum of Contemporary Art (MARCO).
In the initial phase of the project, a large quantity of used bed mattresses was collected in the streets of Ciutat Vella.
The area was undergoing an accelerated renovation process at the time, and many houses were being refurbished and prepared for vacation rental, so each found mattress meant, perhaps, one more step towards the new paradigm.
I felt a memorial aspect in the harvested material, remains of anonymous days and nights slept, lived and forever gone.
Only those bed structures which had 5 cm wide wooden sheets, the standard model in the market, were selected.
These pieces of wood were cut to obtain more than 4500 modules measuring 15 × 5 cm, which I grouped in packages of 20 units. Eight wooden transport boxes were made, each containing 25 packages (500 modules per box). A ninth box of identical dimensions contained a screen showing video documentation of different stages of the project: collection of the material, processing, organization, transport and the final installation in the museum space.
This box also included a map of the urban area where the mattresses had been collected, recording these harvesting points with coloured pins which indicated the frequency and number of finds.
The exhibition was completed with a mechanical element, a correlative numbering head attached to a handle-operated press that the public could activate.
For its presentation in the museum, all the aforementioned wooden modules were horizontal distributed on the ground, creating a parquet floor that was not fixed to the ground.
Located at the main entrance of the exhibition, the structure was physically modified by the attendees who walked on it.
They were invited to take a wooden module from the floor and insert it into the adjoining press that would number the selected piece of wood.
Thus, at the end of the sample an informal record of the number of visitors was obtained and the work itself disappeared.