Continuum, delirium, disorder, re-order. Illusion, dimension, blurriness, consciousness. Idealism, realism. Work, invest, conclude. Reference, perseverance, irreverence. Exhaustion, inspiration, transformation. Overlap. Struggle. Endurance, performance. Vision. Day. Night.
The title of François Truffaut’s 1973 film, “Day for Night,” (also called “La Nuit Américaine” or The American Night), referenced a film-making technique that, using filters and post-production modification, recreates night-time atmospherics while filming in the day. The resulting day-for-night illusion blurs reality and inverts viewers’ perceptions.
In 2006, New York’s Whitney Museum of Art appropriated Truffaut’s title, naming the 2006 biennial exhibition “Day for Night.” By referencing the film, curators Chrissie Iles and Philippe Vergne emphasized emerging connections between alternate realities; realities that continue to increase geographic, political, cultural, technological and sociological (to name a few) influences affecting contemporary art production. They argued that snowballing stimuli create an unfamiliar moment, one that leaves us unsure of up and down, right or left, north and south: day or night.
Kevin Krapf’s Night for Day and Day for Night and… overlaps filters and influences, separating and then recombining his experiences and perceptions. Kevin performed a work-week-long “residency” at the Museum of African Design (MOAD), producing on site the work on display. Each evening, after his day-job, Kevin returned to the gallery to make art without sleeping throughout the week. The process enabled him—in part through a self-induced delirium—to blur illusionary boundaries that normally separate work and leisure, stasis and transformation; life and art. He merged his nights into day and his days into nights, creating a continuum, confusion, and a disorder that he was forced to confront. Nodding to his government job, he used a standard, familiar, institutional directive-command format, the Five Paragraph Order (SMEAC – situation, mission, execution, administration/logistics and command/signal) to keep his thoughts organized and present the resulting products as a documentary visual essay.
The work in Night for Day and Day for Night and… draws on two sources: Truffaut’s film; and the architecture and materials found in the Maboneng neighborhood surrounding MOAD. Also undergoing a process of transformation, Maboneng serves as a mirror and a backdrop. The residency and the results reflect an attempt to better understand the art-making process and its place; to effectively hear a beating heart and to feel the pulse.