They Dream in My Bones
Insemnopedy II
Faye Formisano (FR)
They Dream in My Bones
Insemnopedy II

Installation textile immersive VR 360 stéréoscopique. (16’) / Immersive textile installation VR 360 stereoscopic. (16’)

“Some we know to be dead even though they walk among us; some are not yet born though they go through all the forms of life; other are hundreds of years old though they call themselves thirty-six» Virginia Woolf, Orlando, 1928

They Dream In My Bones is an installation-fiction relating the story of Roderick Norman, a researcher in “onirogenetics,” a science he himself founded, and that serves to extract the dreams from an unknown skeleton. Immersed in the mental space of R. Norman, reconstituted in the form of a textile installation comprising drawings and paintings, spectators are invited to view an immersive film in stereoscopic 360°. Conceived as a minimalist scientific fable in black and white, this VR film combining computer images and traditional film images transports us onto virtual veils to continue the metamorphosis of a skeleton at the limits of the human and of genders.


They dream in my bones. They dream in your bones. They dream in our bones. There are visions, engraved in me, fossilized, petrified. They never stop dreaming. Death can’t stop the visions.

How many dreams are there in me? How many genders are there in me? I used to be a man and a woman, before being born. I used to be a pikaïa, a bactery. So, how many species are there in me?

Faye Formisano
Faye Formisano France
Promotion André S. Labarthe

An artist, filmmaker and researcher, Faye Formisano lives and works between Paris and Lille. Insemnopedy I: The Dream of Victor F. (23’), experimental fiction (Panorama 21, curator: Jean-Hubert Martin; international selection Étrange Festival 2019; Les Utopiales 2019; International Festival Munich 2020), produced by Le Fresnoy – Studio national des arts contemporains. Draper l’image: uses and functions of the veil as a manifestation of uncertain identities in fantastic cinema, creative doctorate at the Université de Lille 3 (CEAC, Lille) and at Le Fresnoy, supervised by Laurent Guido and co-supervised by filmmaker Bertrand Mandico.
Born in France in 1984, Faye Formisano presents figures that are part-phantom, part fantasy, moving around in a surreal world haunted by the fraying of the bond between humanity and its environment. Trained in textile design, she collaborates with couture houses and choreographers and put on two live shows and made several dance videos before producing her first short fiction film at Le Fresnoy.


Artiste visuelle, chorégraphe et vidéaste issue du design textile née en 1984, je vis et travaille à Paris. Diplômée d’un DSAA de l’école Duperré en 2007, j’y ai entamé une recherche transversale autour du vêtement à danser mêlant la danse contemporaine, la photographie et la vidéo. J’ai mis en scène deux spectacles vivants autour de dispositifs textiles activant de la chorégraphie ( Beach noise, El Grito de la montana) et un rituel performatif et sonore The Rip on my Tongue en collaboration avec le pianiste Benoît Delbelcq. J’ai également réalisé plusieurs vidéo-danses et un film expérimental autour du geste et du son de la déchirure. Les thématiques qui m’habitent sont le lien défait, le temps, la perte, la mémoire et les fantômes. En parallèle, j’ai collaboré avec des chorégraphes comme Mylène Benoît pour des scènes nationales, l’artiste visuel Melik Ohanian et je n’ai cessé de travailler en tant que designer textile, graphiste et peintre sur soie dans le monde du prêt à porter et de la haute couture. Au Fresnoy je souhaite pousser et affirmer mes recherches dans le champs du film expérimental et de l’installation intéractive en questionnant les nouvelles technologies de l’image et les surfaces textiles innovantes et actives.

    • Centre International d'Art Contemporain Caza d'Oro Centre International d'Art Contemporain Caza d'Oro
    • Neuflize OBC Banque française issue de la fusion de la Banque NSMD (Neuflize Schlumberger Mallet Demachy) et OBC (Odier Bungener et Courvoisier) en 2006
    • Le Fresnoy - Studio national des arts contemporains, Tourcoing Le Fresnoy - Studio national des arts contemporains est né de la volonté du ministère de la Culture et de la Communication d’implanter dans le nord de la France, un établissement supérieur d’enseignement artistique d’un type nouveau, pôle d’excellence d’envergure nationale et internationale, dont les références furent exprimées par quelques formules telles que « un IRCAM des arts plastiques » ou encore « une villa Médicis high-tech ».

Sa pédagogie, principalement fondée sur la production d’œuvres de toute sorte dont le point commun est l’intégration de techniques audiovisuelles professionnelles, en fait un lieu de production, d’expérimentation et de diffusion totalement inédit.


    Thématique : Un corps qui bouge Thematic: The body on the move

    Sometimes, whatever the damage, a body never dies.
    It responds to what wounds it, endangers it, with an increased presence. In fact, does not its disappearance actually make it more alive? From the moment it ceas- es to be, we never stop looking for it. The body moves before and after death. There is no body without this, which is what dreams tell us. The more it is threatened with forgetting, the more we draw from the forces of dream a vitality that metamorphoses and reinstates it. In the period we are currently living through, when the body is under interrogation, when we are told of its emptying, its vanishing, its dematerialisation, dreams and utopias are constantly reminding us that it remains and will long remain centre-stage. Centre-stage, or rather, on one of the multiple stages where it goes from one to another. Never immobile, always calling for movement, a dance like a respiration jump-starting the beats of the heart. By this impulsion it asserts itself at the centre but, strangely, this race, by its speed, erases it by its very manifestation, by the simple light that dazzles us. Through this situation, the body doubts itself. It appears, takes shape in space but the luminous intensity is not its ally. It calls it into question. It struggles against a shadow that threatens it and in which it cannot see itself. If it identifies primarily with the lines that delineate it, that enable it to exist, to say “I,” the world, which plays with luminous multitudes, troubles and defeats it. If it is the coming being, it is also the fugacious one. Initially a blot on the earth, it is liquified in a dilation or evaporates in an expansion whose confines are lost to us. Our body is dispersed, disseminated, and we would be naïve to believe in its physical or lexical definitions. For a while, it is obvious, but this obviousness gives way to the unknown, in which salvation is found in the hiding of appearances. It takes refuge in a “darkness” that invades space and covers, clothing itself in the shadows of the night until light, necessary to all life, revives the quest for an elusive being through the renascent image. On this point, Junichiro Tanizaki asks us this question: “I wonder if my readers know the colour of that ‘darkness seen by candlelight’. It was different in quality from darkness on the road at night. It was a repletion, a pregnancy of tiny particles like fine ashes, each particle luminous as a rainbow.” Experiencing the works in Panorama 2 3 , I have that sensation of a composite territory of ashes turned by art into a suite of colours, refracted through water and light. Responding to the world’s disintegration with a multicoloured explosion, traversing and speculating with what illuminates or erases it, from black to white, is not a matter of solitude. Feeling the variability of this to and fro, of this metaphor, implies otherness, invokes the other who invites change, the fusion of different substances. This other is insistently present in this Panorama 23; it is the source and the flux of the current that runs between the works. To move through the paths of the exhibition is to plunge into a universe whose principle is crossover, mixture, a joining as of ocean currents, sea depths. The creatures assembled here question the body and language, they remind me of the introduction to Moby Dick in which Herman Melville defines his hero as swimming through libraries. Yes, they are divers who carry us into fluxes that are the nature of the world in which bodies bathe, to the point of becoming the flux itself, seeking to melt into the other’s body. They dream of a possible body in which fragmentation, breaking and division are erased by ebb and flow, the reflections of a wave, breathing rhythm into the world. This rhythm engenders infinite series of shifts, projections, cross-fades where gender differences are abandoned, where different kingdoms couple to bring forth suspended bodies, real subjects, constantly agitated by the virtuality of mythologies or science fiction. They are blocks of stone as much as phantoms, swimmers as well as the drowned. They speak the truth while whispering that they are only actors and artifices. One of their states is like that of abandoned objects, of “leftovers” that become sacred, idealised spaces, haloed by enigmas that turn our perception into an initiatory quest. Here, bodies can be subjected to reification only in the next moment to shatter it with the power of dream thinking. Here, the heroes are also sleepers, or those to whom sleep is a lesson. To sleep, nowadays, is heroic. Blessed are those who, in order to know the world, choose to be its active sleepers. “To die, to sleep; To sleep, perchance to dream,” writes Shakespeare in the heart of Hamlet’s soliloquy, in words that reveal his secret. This trilogy, these three inseparable acts, form but one principle, a single state, a single thought trying to liberate itself and gain a chance of imagining a new world.
    A world where we observe the work of abolishing the barrier between the human, the vegetable and the animal. Georges Bataille would be happy to see himself embodied in the presence and prowling of a black panther that is a vector of knowledge through its mysterious expenditure of energy, a dashing race.
    This universe is shot through with transparency, in the manner of Sebastiano Mazzoni, Francis Picabia and François Rouan. The vegetal invades the architectural, then the animal, and merges, finally, into human anatomies irrigated by humours, liquids, the water that composes our tears, recalling our fluid, volatile nature, between memory and outpouring.
    If part of life is contained in our bones, as imagined by Edgar Allan Poe and the artist Roy Adzak, these bones have no weight, do not immobilise, for they secrete dreams, as true players in the upheavals that determine us. Are they the most reliable identity of our body, as proposed by these works, one of which originates in the philosophical and poetic theme of change in Virginia Woolf’s Orlando, while others present the “monstrous form” or the electric bodies of Lovecraft.
    What is the reality of these bodies? That of a paradox in which the most physical, the most material is manifested by the most elusively virtual. That of Wim Wenders’ wings of desire, or that of T.S. Eliot trying to formulate his desire to embody writing in words not spoken, in silent speech. One of the artists in Panorama notes: “I would like to be able to say, to seek for silence in speech.” Writing can be a house that leaves its foundations and turns into a boat in order to follow its paths towards the sea, along the river, towards the figures of dream. A house? A boat? Singular anima? I remember, today, a question put by a Dervish dancer, constantly evoking the soul.
    “But what is the soul?” I remember, even better, in Tourcoing in 2021, his answer: “Why, the body of course!”
    Olivier Kaeppelin