back to the shelf


(by way of foretaste)

To sleep and to fall asleep, concepts that are often used in literature as metaphors for death or dying. This striking analogy is the starting point for my contribution to Motel Mozaïque.

Underneath the turf is a playful attempt to bridge the abyss that yawns between sleeping and passing away. It is a simulator in which two persons get a foretaste of the way of all flesh in a comfortable and light-footed manner.

The double bed facility comprises a large matress, bordered by a green strip composed of artificial grass-tiles. Two quilts are arranged on the matress. The top of the quilts covers show a printed grass motif. The two pillowcases are made of dark brown fabric. The head of the bed points to the east. Two different sized rocks are placed at the end of the bed.

As soon as the guests have taken their place underneath their turf, the Reader appears. The guests decide which accessory the Reader will wear during the session: a neck tie or a bow tie.

Garderobe of the Reader

(Couturière: Barbara Witteveen)

 Seated on the bigger rock and lighted by candlelight, he will read his guests from the novel As I lay dying, till sleep occurs. The novel was written in 1930 by the American author William Faulkner:

As I lay dying is Faulkner's harrowing account of the Bundren family's odyssey across the Mississippi countryside to bury Addie, their wife and mother. Told in turns by each of the family members - including Addie herself - the novel ranges in mood from dark comedy to the deepest pathos. The novel is a patchwork quilt of 59 monologues ascribed to fifteen different eyewitnesses.

In order to guarantee a safe return to the world of the living the next morning, the guests will be woken up with appropriate sounds on the radio. The guests receive the book and the data of the reading session, so that they can finish the book later on their own.

Arnold Schalks, Motelier and Reader


(Photo: Joost van den Broek)


Data of the reading sessions

in the night of April 5 to 6, 2002

Accessory: neck tie

Start: 03:11 h.

End: 03:37 h.

The Reader finished reading on page 26 / line 29.


in the night of April 6 to 7, 2002

Accessory: bow tie

Start: 03:26 h.

End: 04:37 h.

The Reader finished reading on page 40 / line 8.


The Reader waiting for his guests.