Negin’s Dream’s of Elected Teeth, Short animated FIllm, 2011

Negin’s Dreams of Elected Teeth would allow me to examine the subject of Anxiety and Dreams. This has started for me on a personal level, with dreams of teeth. Of losing teeth to blind strangers. Of teeth sliding, growing like cancers and piercing my body from within. The kind of dreams that leave me drained upon waking, needing an hour to gather my mind to start my day. Dreams that return to interrupt me throughout the day. I’m developing this series of unsettling dreams as a lens through which to examine the intersection of the personal and universal, of anxiety in a broader social context. Why are these dreams so common in our time? What does it mean that I, with my particular body, raised in the specific place of Tehran, Iran, also have these dreams? How do they relate to dreams of teeth had by bodies made in China, France or every other specific place?

According to Carl Jung, the unconscious mind is divided into personal and collective distinctions. The personal contains individual experiences, while the collective has general content shared by all human beings. The collective appears in dreams as archetypes, symbols which are common across everyone’s dreams, throughout all eras of human existence. It is the intersection between these two spheres of consciousness I wish to explore, by bringing dream logic to light in a conscious, linear narrative form.

These recurring dreams of losing my teeth take place in the most surreal narrative structures. Plants grow out of my mouth to consume me. A blind dentist stumbles towards me with an ancient drill whining. Swarms of insects invade my home. A parrot with the tail of a rat scurries around in my bathtub, claws scraping at the tiles. My one eye grows wings and flies in to my mouth to witness my teeth falling!

This imagery clings to my conscious mind, pulling it’s attention from the concrete reality before it. I have decided to transform these recurrent dreams into a film. I hope to examine and understand my own subconscious sense of helplessness and powerlessness. Perhaps committing them to a corporal existence, to a linear framework, I can begin to interrogate and understand them, to tame them.

I have chosen to work with film and stop motion animation as a medium to capture the logic of dreams, the large jigsaw puzzle of ideas, a mysterious multi-layered illogical organization of content, in which the unities of time, place and person do not apply. Natural laws are disobeyed while memory seems to be intensified within its context. Nothing is more real than a dream the moment you are in it, except, perhaps, being absorbed into a film. The animation will allow me to also break laws of physics and time to mirror the experience of a dream.

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