Research asserting the importance of sleep for long-term health has led to the growth of new sleep brands within the wellness industry and to increased awareness of the so-called sleep gap—differential access to healthy, sustaining sleep as shaped by race, class, and gender. In this article, I examine two works of participatory performance art that explore the practice of public napping as a response to the sleep gap: Sakiko Yamaoka’s Best Place to Sleep / Come with Me (Canada, 2008, and Japan, 2009) and Navild Acosta and Fannie Sosa’s Black Power Naps (Spain, 2018, and the United States, 2019). These performances contest the wellness industry’s presentation of sleep as an investment in individual productivity. I extend analyses of caretaking developed as feminist interventions in disability studies, Marxism, and moral philosophy to argue that Best Place to Sleep and Black Power Naps instead stage collective care as fundamental to a well-rested future that can sustain social justice work over the long term. I conclude by analyzing how Black Power Naps uses financial support from a sleep brand to commandeer the relationship between artists and funders under the rubric of collective care, using sleep performance to assert the value of rest over work.


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pp. 1-28
Launched on MUSE
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