Continuum, delirium, disorder, re-order. Illusion, dimension, consciousness. Idealism, realism. Work, invest, conclude. Refer, irreverence, perseverance. Exhaustion, inspiration, transformation. Overlap. Stress and blur. Endurance, performance. Vision. Day. Night. Day. Night…
The title of François Truffaut’s 1973 film, “Day for Night,” also called “La Nuit Américaine” or The American Night[i], referenced a film-making gimmick that, using filters and post-production modification, recreates night-time atmospherics while filming in the day. The resulting day-for-night illusion blurs and inverts viewers’ perceptions of reality. Truffaut, a believer in the importance of art in society, questioned the direction of contemporary cinema.
In 2006, New York’s Whitney Museum of Art appropriated Truffaut’s title, naming its 2006 biennial exhibition “Day for Night.” By referencing the film, curators Chrissie Iles and Philippe Vergne emphasized emerging connections between alternate realities; realities that continue to increase geographic, political, cultural, technological and sociological (to name a few) influences affecting contemporary art production. They argued that snowballing stimuli create an unfamiliar moment, one that leaves us unsure of up and down, right or left, North and South, day or night, thus emphasizing the important role art plays in deciphering meaning.
Kevin Krapf’s Day for Night and Night for Day and… intends to overlap influences and perceptions, first by separating and then recombining them. Kevin will be performing a work-week-long “residency” at the Museum of African Design (MOAD), where he will be creating the exhibition from scratch on site. Each evening after his day-job, Kevin will return to the gallery to make art without sleeping throughout the week. This process will enable him—in part through self-induced delirium—to smudge illusionary boundaries, which are normally separated; work and leisure, stability and transformation, reality and creativity, life and art. He aims to merge his days into nights and his nights into days, this way creating a continuum, a confusion and a disorder that he will have to confront physically and conceptually.
Day for Night and Night for Day and… draws on two sources: Truffaut’s film and the architecture, materials and atmosphere at MOAD and in the Maboneng neighborhood. Also undergoing a process of transformation, Maboneng serves as a mirror and a backdrop. The residency and its results reflect Kevin’s attempt to better understand the border between his art-making process and its inspiration, to identify methods for breaking the barrier and assert the importance of art in society.
[i] Truffaut’s title, La Nuit Américaine, when pronounced, sounds similar to L’ Ennui Américain, meaning “American Boredom.”