“Tonight my ghost will ask your ghost, ‘Who put these bodies between us?'”


“We cast our skins and slide into another time”~ Sylvia Plath


Schneggenburger 1

In Vienna, a switch turns on by itself at the stroke of midnight and turns off by itself just before dawn. A couple lays in pure darkness, on a black bed surrounded by candles.  If this all sounds a bit like a paranormal experience, the photographic evidence won’t do much to convince you otherwise.

German-born Viennese photographer Paul Schneggenburger’s “The Sleep of the Beloved” originated as a graduate thesis at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. Schneggenburger asked the question, “What happens to lovers while they are sleeping?”  So, he set up a 4×5 camera with exposed film on the ceiling of the second bedroom of his apartment, and had volunteer couples spend six hours there, (with Schneggenburger in another room) to sleep without their tops on.  The result of the couples’ movements, caught on overexposed film lit by soft candlelight is haunting.  Headless bodies and disembodied limbs billow up from between the sleeping lovers, and white mists hover over them.  Like any kind of paranormal activity, there’s always a practical explanation: Schneggenburger says that the white mist, at least, indicates a couple was making love during the night.


The photographic evidence of Schneggenburger’s midnight rituals will be on display at the Anzenburger Gallery in Vienna starting on February 5.

Learn more at http://www.schneggenburger.at/