Dream Work, in CinemaScope and black & white, is the same length as a period of deep sleep. The moment at which a woman enters a building, removes her shoes and then her panties (the framing is lascivious), she inevitably becomes both the subject and object. When she falls asleep, she not only falls deeper into the film, the latter penetrates her. The phallic conjoining, the fact that the woman´s body exists only within the film (and vice versa), is made tangible by Tscherkassky´s copying of individual frames – though in an extremely immediate sense, and also as the horror of being unable to escape this context. Behind the awakening lurks the dream. Behind opening doors waits an ego. Behind a man in the room looms the void. The images, the afterimages, the negatives circle each other in a maelstrom in which the classic psychoanalytic view of the conscious mind´s unconscious function is gradually lost in a higher logic of neuronal chaos. And then, guided by Man Ray´s rayograph technique, they reassemble in a para-dream which – paraphrasing Freud – could be described as a pictorial mental image (and for the first time to a commissioned score). In the same way as in an actual dream, Dream Work does not contain individual and unconnected images; although each one is radically arbitrary, the context is so compelling that an alternative is inconceivable – unless taken from a different universe, of course. But this is the best of all possible dream worlds, regardless of how terrifying it seems.
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