Ferdinando Scianna

To Sleep, Perchance to Dream
by Ferdinando Scianna
Publisher's Description
Ferdinando Scianna has always been fascinated by the sight of figures wrapped in sleep. In over thirty years of photography he has captured images of people and animals sleeping in the most diverse places on earth: in the countryside, in cities, deserts, corners of towns, streets, moving trains, in their own homes.

With this collection of photographs, interspersed with evocative quotations about sleep and dreaming, Scianna takes us and himself on a fascinating journey into a dimension of life that is natural and mysterious, necessary and disturbing, everyday and universal. Usually the camera freezes movement, isolating a single moment in the endless flux of reality, but here, on the contrary, the stillness of the image is of its essence. Through the mystery of sleep, life itself, like the photographic image, becomes static, as if in suspense.
Amazon.com Review
In travelling the world to photograph his favorite type of image, Magnum photographer Ferdinando Scianna seems to have had little chance to do much sleeping of his own. Over the course of three decades, he has snapped thousands of images of sleepers--a Balinese farmer in her fields, a napper on a rocky crag in Bolivia, a dog in the shade of a laundry line in Egypt, a barefoot man along an Italian pier, an infant on a woman's lap in India. Looking at the faces of all these sleeping people--rich and poor, young and old, comfortably ensconced in beds and arranged awkwardly on the ground--one can't help but wonder where their dreams transport them.

Scianno's rich black and white images are reproduced in warm sepia tones alongside aphorisms and phrases about sleep penned by such writers as Ernest Hemingway, Dante, Edgar Allen Poe, and Christina Rosetti. One phrase in Sir Philip Sydney seems to capture the spirit of the collection:

Come, Sleep! Oh Sleep, the certain knot of peace, The baiting-place of wit, the balm of woe, The poor man's wealth, the prisoner's release, The indifferent judge between the high and low.
ISBN: 0714837199
Publisher: Phaidon Press
Hardcover : 124 pages
Language: English
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