Dreams of Teeth

Dreams of Teeth is a visual response project in which participants are asked to engage with one of the most common nightmares--a dream in which one imagines one's teeth falling out. According to analysts, this dream can be thought to anticipate public nervousness, a fear of losing control or general feelings of inadequacy. To imagine one's teeth falling out is to lose one's voice, to feel one's body falling apart, to experience a physical reaction that isn't under our own psychological control. Regardless of what the nightmare represent however, to experience a nightmare of this sort is to wake with an accelerated heartbeat, a racing pulse, perhaps even with a start or a stutter. It's almost as if the dream has, for a moment, followed you back into the waking world itself. And while neuroscientists insist that dreams are merely random manifestations of the imagination, if this is true then with the nightmare we encounter the imagination at its most powerful--a vision of the mind that impacts the body in real physiological ways.

With these ideas in mind, Dreams of Teeth is a meditation on the powerful possibilities of the imagination. To do so, the project asks others to represent their own dreams--real or imagined--in the form of an image that engages the idea of having one's teeth fall out. While the project is designed to feel uncomfortable at first, through dialogue and collective brainstorming the hope is to foster a space for contemplating the powerful possibilities of the creative mind--asleep or awake. In this way Dreams of Teeth is an attempt to engage the ways in which the imagination can be given concrete artistic form, through discussion as well as in the production of images.