In the name of art, Dutch photographer Paul Schneggenburger has invited over 80 couples to sleep over his house. This is in no way as creepy as it sounds: once there the participating lovers sleep together, alone, in a black duvet bed, lit only by candle light, while a camera hung over the bed captures their intimate sleep patterns. Between the hours of midnight and 6am, the long exposure documents each couples’ “nocturnal lovers’ dance” in a revealing black and white ethereal manner. A clever concept with a brilliant execution, the series is called Sleep of the Beloved.
In 2010, Schneggenburger started this project at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna as part of his degree, but it has grown much larger than that, with over 80 couples and even some small families volunteering to share this intimate time in front of the camera, each gaining revelations about their nocturnal connectedness. Some couples are intertwined for the majority of the night, others touching at all times, and some turn their backs to one another. See more images from this series and other work by Paul Schneggenburger on his website, where you can also sign up with your partner to be his next subject, if you happen to be in Austria.