Societies have been interpreting dreams since Ancient Egypt and Greece — looking for messages from above in areas of power, love, justice, and truth, weary of omens and superstitions, and searching for clues to what the future may hold. Across cultures and centuries, we have looked to our dreams to for a deeper understanding of our feelings, choices, and relationships, things that our waking mind cannot comprehend or come to realize. These messages come in strange packages, representing animals, people, objects, and scenarios that are bizarre, unrecognizable, and fleeting. We desperately try to hang onto the images and symbols as we transition back into a waking state-- hoping to catch a glimpse into our other reality. Although dreams can be seen as nonsensical, unbelievable, and folly, many philosophers believe that our dreams hold the keys to our deepest desires and truths. Our resting minds may allow us to see our circumstances anew and give clues to unravel our complex realities.
“It seems to me perfectly clear that all the great and little symbolical systems of the past functioned simultaneously on three levels: the corporeal of waking consciousness, the spiritual of dream, and the ineffable of the absolutely unknowable. “ -Joseph Campbell
Like it or not, one third of your life is spent sleeping. We may not always realize it, but this moment of respite not only offers our bodies a chance to recover, it also gives our subconscious a chance to speak. The question is - are we willing to listen? Light Grey Art Lab invites artists to enter into a conversation about their dreams and subconscious for the Midnight Exhibition, a show about fractured narratives we experience through the veil of sleep.
For the MIDNIGHT Exhibition, we are crowd sourcing interpretations, possible meanings, and messages from viewers from around the globe. We are no longer in the time of Freud's Ego and Superego or Carl Jung's school of thought, and have many more resources today about dream interpretation than ever before. You can consult books, dictionaries, psychoanalysis tests, and reference guides, but in the end, the best resource for interpreting a dream is looking to your own intuition. Guided by metaphors, signs, symbols, and representation, you can try to reach a greater understanding of your own subconscious.
A couple of term resources:
Omens - Traditionally of religious context. Omens are signs from a higher power that can be foretelling of the future and signifying change. We often separate these omens into good and bad.
Symbols - A symbol stands for a greater idea. A symbol can take the form of a word, person, object, image or gesture.
Sign - Ultimately, has one meaning. It represents one concept -- the signified.
Metaphor - Is a two concepts layered together. It is one concept that also represents/mirrors another.
Tools for interpreting dreams: