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La Somnolence: Spring Hurlbut

January 25, 2003 - March 30, 2003

AWE Gallery

Toronto-based artist Spring Hurlbut created La Somnolence (French for sleepiness) for a 1995 exhibition at the Power Plant in Toronto. It consists of 137 wrought and cast-iron children’s beds, collected in Canada and France, with a sound component of a woman singing a lullaby in Berber, a North African language of historically nomadic people.

While Hurlbut evokes the tragedy of anonymous lives lost, she also suggests the heartfelt emotions of familiar love. The lullaby counters the theme of death and hardship. Moreover, by referring to childhood in the past, Hurlbut suggests in the cyclical nature of life, as one generation gives wat to the next. In this sense, La Somnolence, despite its dark overtones, affirms life and the ability of the human spirit to overcome hardship.

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