German photographer Paul Schneggenburger created this photo series, entitled The Sleep of the Beloved, in which he features the movements and motions of loving couples as they sleep. For each image, the photographer arranges a bed in his studio apartment, creates a backdrop of black sheets, lights some candles, and leaves for the night. He sets up a long exposure on his camera that is open for six hours, from midnight to 6am, which documents the interactions and distances that couples experience throughout a good night’s sleep.
Schneggenburger questions: “What happens to lovers while they are sleeping? Is it a nocturnal lovers’ dance, maybe a kind of unaware performed tenderness, or does one turn their back on each other?” Without having an outside observer, sleeping couples can’t really know how they interact while they rest. This project captures the blurry dance of arms, legs, and bodies as couples unconsciously, and often intimately, move throughout the night. Some people overlap, merging in the middle as a white blob of tangled bodies, while others remain quite separate, almost sedentary as they enjoy their restful slumber.
Thanks for the tip, Mindy!