Dreamscapes explored the act of dreaming—the succession of thoughts, images, sounds, or emotions that the mind experiences during sleep. The exhibition featured twenty-five works spanning six centuries and straddling the infinitely permeable borders between the real and the surreal, the conscious and the unconscious. Through their juxtaposition with Tadao Ando’s architecture, the artworks on view offered new ways to think about the content and purpose of dreams on numerous levels: physiological, psychological, cultural, and spiritual. The exhibition contended that dreams and art are much more than imaginative diversions from daily life. Both provide the possibility of disclosing insight through imagery, and both reveal the many layers and levels by which we understand meaning.
Like the logic of a dream—which relies on connection rather than closure—this exhibition brought together works that did not immediately announce their commonality. Dreamscapes included art by Constantin Brancusi, Albrecht Dürer, Max Ernst, Philip Guston, Max Klinger, René Magritte, Kiki Smith, and Do Ho Suh, through which the world seemed less ordinary at each turn. Pictorial themes and fictions were shuffled and reassembled from space to space, making a walk through Tadao Ando’s architecture seem like a journey from one dream to the next. For this exhibition, Ando’s contemplative spaces provided the means to elicit thoughts and feelings about dreaming and altered states of consciousness; the building shaped experiences and offered a way for visitors to connect with the works, the space, and ultimately themselves.