Innerspace Gallery

March 2002
Thet Shein Win

When I asked friends if I could go into their bedrooms "for a sec" to photograph their nightstands for a "little art project" that I was doing, there would be a short pause, immediately followed by a slightly anxious, "Uh, sure."

Our bedroom is typically a very personal and intimate space. It’s the place where we experience our most vulnerable state—sleep. And where we perform the ultimate act of creation—sex. It’s where we rejuvenate our bodies and our spirits.

Many artists have addressed this intimacy in their work: inviting visitors into their own beds, allowing web cams to monitor their bedroom activities, or documenting the identities of others through home decor.

I chose to focus on nightstands to see how varied the objects on top would be. Rather than reveal any unique differences, the objects that appeared on the nightstands reflected a simple and straightforward universality. There was almost always some combination of the following items:
• A lamp
• An alarm clock
• Some reading material
• A bottle of lotion
• A glass of water
• A box of tissues

Take a look at your own nightstand. Do you find the same items? What’s implied by our tendency to keep the same objects by our beds?

Thet Shein Win is an artist who lives in the Bay Area.

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