Nationality: Spain

Todos esos momentos se perderan (All these moments will be lost in time) by Dier

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In celebration of World Poetry Day, here’s a video which may not fit some people’s idea of a poem at all — but which, to my way of thinking, represents the purest form of videopoetry. In fact, it was brought to my attention by videopoetry pioneer Tom Konyves (more about that in a minute). It’s the work of the Madrid-based filmmaker and graffiti artist Dier, and incorporates two kinds of found text: in the soundtrack, a monologue from the movie Blade Runner, and as images on the screen, the erased words of painted-over graffiti. The former is (eventually) translated into Spanish-language graffiti, but it’s the “lost” words that are uniquely able to communicate — or fail to communicate — in all languages, due to the universality of silence. This struck me as especially suggestive today, given the emphasis of World Poetry Day on endangered languages and censored or silenced poets, as well as on dialogue between poetry and the other arts. To quote from the UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova’s message,

Today, contemporary forms of poetry, from graffiti to slam, enable young people to become engaged in the practice and renew it by opening the door to a new space for creation. The forms evolve, but the poetic impulse remains intact. […] As a deep expression of the human mind and as a universal art, poetry is a tool for dialogue and rapprochement.

In videopoetry as Konyves conceives of it, the meshing of different media goes well beyond mere dialogue, however. In a review of this video, “Loss, Memory, Spectacle, Redemption: A Hermeneutic Approach to Dier’s Videopoem Todos esos momentos se perderan (All Those Moments Will Be Lost In Time),” he reminds us that, in his view, “the ‘poetry’ in a videopoem is not the privileged ‘text’ — it is the moment of intersection between the text, image and sound.”

In “Todos esos momentos se perderan”, Dier succeeded in discovering the collaborative properties of the elements of text, image and sound. (Not all texts, images and soundtracks can be said to have ‘collaborative properties’; a previous!y published poem, for example, may arrive complete-in-itself.) The text is appropriated and bifurcated so that its relationship to the images (supported by a soundtrack that is itself an appropriation) presents to the viewer a metaphor extended and redrawn through key ‘moments’ in the unfolding of the work. The words of the spoken text are translated to Spanish before they are “enacted”, emphasizing their adaptation and service to the real world.

Due to the difficulty of copying and pasting from the online document, I’ll leave my quoting at that, but do click through and read the rest — an illuminating analysis which, unlike a lot of theorizing, should also be of practical value to any poets or filmmakers working in the field. For credits and Dier’s found-poem text translated from Blade Runner, see the description on Vimeo.

Un representación de ella (A representation of her) by Alberto Masa

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This is Ella, a film by Javier Reta with cinematography by Iñaki Vargas, art by Yasmina Tous, and sound and music by Bernardo Fernández Pedreira. There’s also a version without English subtitles.

Spanish poet Alberto Masa blogs at Erosionados. The poem appears in his collection. Roberto Alcázar, supongo from Eolas Ediciones.

GoldenBricks by Koniclab (Rosa Sánchez and Alain Baumann)

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An interesting experimental videopoem by Koniclab: Rosa Sánchez (director) and Alain Baumann (sound) of the Barcelona-based Kònic thtr. Here’s the description on Vimeo:

Video Poem. Words are appearing on screen, as thin and fragile looking poles move and change to letter shapes. In contrast, we hear the sound of a synthetic and neutral voice, reading and extract of the manifesto from the Mortgage Victims Platform (Plataforma de Afectados por la Hipoteca) who is a movement in Spain whose members have managed to stop evictions by physically standing in front of doors. Estimations are that since the beginning of the crisis in Spain, over 170.000 evictions have taken place in Spain.
In the background, the comforting sound of a shop and its cash register.

On the Eve of Death (De cara a la muerte) by Ángel Guinda

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Sándor M. Salas with the Seville-based Anandor Producciones made this videopoem using found footage, some footage of the poet, Ángel Guinda, in an acting role, and music by Anacinta Alonso. Subhro Bandopadhyay provided the translation for the English subtitles.

Intangible by Hernán Talavera

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Text, video and sound are all the work of the award-winning Spanish videoartist Hernán Talavera.

The Little Mute Boy by Federico Garcia Lorca

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This is Ink Spilled in Cursive from Company E, “a contemporary repertory dance company and film-making group deeply committed to the finest repertory and artistry, with a focus on the power of art to bring awareness, enjoyment and inspiration to artists and audiences around the world.” The choreographer/performer is Jason Garcia Ignacio, with an original, live score composed by Brenden Schultz. Ink Spilled in Cursive will be performed as part of a show called Next: Spain on November 16-17 in Washington, DC. (I’m guessing that the text of the poem will be projected on or above the stage. It certainly seems integral to the performance.)

A fora (Outside) by Albert Balasch

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Moving Poems’ first piece by a Catalan poet is one of the competition films in the upcoming 6th ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival, nominated in the category “Best Debut.” The collaborative process by which it came into being sounds fascinating—part accident, part ekphrasis:

A fora(Outside), is a text by the poet Albert Balasch. A few years ago, Balasch began a series of collaborations with the painter Tià Zanoguera. It was from this collaboration that the idea of adapting the text to comic form arose. Zanoguera then created a long series of paintings and drawings that gave birth to the project. In the end, the project did not come to fruition, but the filmmaker and editor Marc Capdevila thought about the possibility of animating the pages and paintings that had been produced. And in this way they constructed a short-film combining poetry, painting and 2D animation.

The challenge in doing the project was to bring the paintings to life and create a stimulating rather than a narrative universe. How can a painting be brought to life? How can you give life to an individual line or to that essence of a picture that cannot be reproduced? And how can you go beyond a literal illustration of the text?

Zanoguera and Capdevila took photographs of the painting and worked on them with animation software. Then Balasch reduced the text to a script in search of ellipsis.

The result of all this process is a short-film that aims to maintain the texture of the original paintings, the expressivity of the brush strokes and the vitality of the range of colours.

In short, the result is A fora(Outside), a brief journey.

There’s also a version on Vimeo without the subtitles.