The Foundation is pleased to offer our grantees the opportunity to share information about their grant on our website.  We hope it will offer the public increased visibility for your work.

Terms and Conditions. This form is intended for those who have received a Puffin Foundation grant.  By filling out this form, you will be requesting Puffin to post information about your granted project on our web site.  Please fill out the form carefully.  It includes the option to provide an email address for the public to contact you, as well as providing an email address for the Foundation to use internally that would not be made public.  Note that if you include personally identifiable information in your public content, it can be used and viewed by others.   We are not responsible for the information you choose to include in public content.  The Foundation reserves the right to edit any submissions for size and appropriate content.  If you wish to give photo, audio or video credit for submissions, such credit should be included in your text under the description of your project.


Sleep of Reason

Rachel Frank
Year Grant Awarded 2010

Email >
State > NY Zip Code > 11205
Website >
Website >

My project, Sleep of Reason, incorporated many of the ideas I’ve used in sculptural works and transferred them from their static, synchronic states into a more politicized narrative. Through a series of tableaux vivants, Sleep of Reason borrowed poses, characters, and narratives in Francisco Goya’s Los Caprichos to examine the theatrical/performance implications of abuse as depicted in the Abu Ghraib photographs. Staged still scenes were briefly illuminated with light cutting through longer periods of darkness. Using masks, sculpture, and allegory, Sleep of Reason suggested the presence of a recurrent darkness beneath the rational and enlightened society of today.

The title Sleep of Reason refers to Goya's most well known print The Sleep of Reason Produced Monsters from Los Caprichios, a series of satirical and grotesque critiques of the follies, superstitions, and ignorance of society. The general interpretation of the title of this piece is a warning that when Reason is allowed to sleep, irrationality depicted as coming in the form of bats, owls, and monstrous beasts, is allowed to escape from the depths of man's unconscious. In the wake of the Abu Ghriab photographs and the abuses they depict, it seems very clear that even in our rational Western society, a darkness pervades. During the performance, the silence and slowness of the tableau vivant served to implicate the audience and encouraged them to reflect on the image—the actors were still/sculptural in each scene creating a series of separate images like the photographs, but by their small movements of breathing and struggling to hold the pose throughout, created a tension and, at times, a sympathy.

With funds from The Puffin Foundation, I was able to research and develop the costumes and sets for Sleep of Reason. In tandem with my performance, I was invited to The Women's Studio Workshop to publish a book, which translated the drawings I made in response to my performance into silkscreens.