9 | I also happen when you sleep, 2001
Neto’s installations often invite the public to enter relaxed environments marked by soft materials and light colours. This work consists of a large mattress: we are invited to lie down on the soft surface and let our bodies merge with it. In this way Neto emphasizes the relation between sculptural problematics and bodily experiences common to all people. Gravity pulls our bodies downward, causing us to leave our imprint on the underlying mattress. At the same time, the horizontal position changes our perspective of the gallery space.
In 2000 Neto created a work for Magasin 3 at Stockholm Kunsthall. It consisted of an enormous, white pillow-like object that took up practically the entire room. Neto described it as being like an amoeba eating up space. I also happen when you sleep is smaller in scale, but also has an abstract amoeba-like form. To compare a sculpture like this with a primitive organism also helps underscore the primary functions Neto works with. Small details gain significance and basic needs come into focus; people need rest, and this sculpture can fulfill just such a need. The work’s title also emphasizes a conceptual connection to something living. Just as a child will attribute certain qualities to a soft toy, Neto suggests, through the work title, that the white, soft mattress has mysterious properties.
The amoebal form also has clear parallels to viscous shapes in surreal paintings by Salvador Dali, for Dali’s reality can flow into an elastic room where fixed shapes dissolve. In the same way, Neto, with this present work, suggests that reality is mutable. You need to little more than lay on your back to make reality look entirely different.