Nessun Dorma (None shall sleep tonight)

About the Project

In 2008 I was asked to respond to an exhibition entitled “The World’s Most Dangerous Ideas”. I was working in Jourbert Park at the time and thought – sleeping in the park might be a pretty dangerous idea… In recent years, the parks and avenues surrounding the Johannesburg Art Gallery in Joubert Park have become crowded taxi ranks and hawkers’ markets during the day and no-go areas at night. In the Nessun Dorma performance, I relocated my bed to the rose gardens in Joubert Park. Guarded by four CSS Tactical Security guards, and serenaded by two opera singers, Rheinald Moagi and Khotso Tsekeletsa performing Puccini’s aria Nessun Dorma, I fell asleep in a familiar state of mind to South Africans – relaxed but forever on guard. Watch the short video here

Joubert Park in front of the Johannesburg Art Gallery, Johannesburg, 2008

Photographer: Chris Saunders

The performance was repeated and the prints exhibited at the Dray Walk Gallery in London in November 2008.