Sunday, 24 May 2015
Do you have recurring dreams? I understand most people do. Certainly, I seem to have dreamed variations on the same few scenarios most of my adult life. There have been many changes of personnel, shifts of location, and a varying balance of anxiety and serenity -- becoming a parent introduces a whole new level of anxious terror into the mix -- but, most nights, I seem to revisit the same old scenes and storylines, like a complex role-playing videogame where I can never seem to progress beyond level three.
The Dream House is one of mine, and I believe it's a classic scenario, shared by many. The Dream House is a strangely familiar, multi-storey dwelling, with a shifting complement of rooms, passageways, inhabitants (both welcome and unwelcome), in which I am sometimes a guest, sometimes the owner, and sometimes something anxiously inbetween. I am forever finding new rooms, an unknown basement (what, another one?) or stairways that take me into unsuspected corridors, where Tarkovsky-style shifts of mood and ambience take place. Sometimes the house is more like a block of flats or a college; sometimes it's a weird amalgam of various places I've lived; occasionally it is somewhere I have never lived, but have perhaps often passed in the street.
Playing around with these two digital collages, I realised that I was building versions of the Dream House. That is, quite real-seeming edifices, but constructed out of disparate elements, always on the verge of dissolving into some new arrangement, and haunted by disconcerting presences. Nothing is quite what it seems. These may not be places where I have ever actually lived, but I suppose might be said to be places that inhabit me.