For his project titled The Sleep of the Beloved, German photographer Paul Schneggenburger set out to capture what a sleeping couple looks like over the course of a night in single images.
Each couple was invited to spend the night inside his specially prepared studio apartment, with black sheets serving as a backdrop and candles illuminating the scene with dim lighting.
Schneggenburger then points a 4×5 camera at the couple from above, opens up the shutter, and leaves it there for a six-hour exposure from midnight to 6 in the morning.
The resulting photographs present an interesting visual documentation of how the two subjects toss and turn while deep in their sleep. Schneggenburger asks,
What happens to lovers while they are sleeping? Is it a sleeping just next to each other, each on his own, or is there a sharing of certain places or emotions? Is it a nocturnal lovers’ dance, maybe a kind of unaware performed tenderness, or does one turn the back on each other? Is there a conjunction with the other, with one’s self?
Here are a selection of the project’s photographs — you can come to your own conclusions to the questions:
Schneggenburger will be exhibiting these images at the Anzenberger Gallery in Vienna starting on February 5, 2013.
P.S. Last year we shared a similar concept by photographer Robert Knight, titled “Sleepless“.
Image credits: Photographs by Paul Schneggenburger/Anzenberger Gallery and used with permission