From the deep waters of sleep
In the second part of her trilogy of performances, Fornieles engaged with the subject of loss. For the entire 48-hour duration of the performance she attempted to stay awake, trapped in a wooden lifeboat, marooned on a sea of salt that filled the gallery floors. During the performance, Fornieles took messages from the audience addressed to people or things lost to them, and broadcast them in Morse code. As the performance continued, the artist wearied and her actions deteriorated.
The piece was inspired by the final work of Dutch performance artist Bas Jan Ader, In search of the Miraculous, in which he attempted a solo crossing of the Atlantic. Sailing from America with the intention of arriving in Holland, he was lost at sea. From the Deep Waters of Sleep takes its title from a poem written by Ader's mother:
"From the deep waters of sleep I wake up to consciousness...
...I feel my heart beating too. It will go on beating for some time. Then it will stop. I wonder if the little heart that has beaten with mine has stopped. When he passed the border of birth, I laid him at my breast, Rocked him in my arms. He was very small then.
A white body of a man, rocked in the arms of the waves, Is very small too."
Johanna Adriana Ader-Appels, 1975