Browsing articles tagged with " Maryse Arseneault"
Apr 28, 2015
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Text(e) Image Beat – talks (2015)

GSN-TALK-web-front-pageGSN-TALK-web-daniel

On April 28, Valerie LeBlanc and I each gave a talk at the Galerie Sans Nom during the Frye Festival.

 

pdf Text(e) Image Beat talks given through the Galerie Sans Nom and the Frye Festival, (pdf 2mb)

Mar 18, 2015
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Text(e) Image Beat opening! (2015)

Le vernissage de Text(e) Image Beat aura lieu le 20 mars 2015 à la Galerie Sans Nom!
The opening of Text(e) Image Beat will be held on March 20 at the Galerie Sans Nom!

With: Heid E. Erdrich, Hannah Black, Matt Mullins, Martha Cooley, John D. Scott, Tom Konyves, Swoon (AKA Marc Neys), Michel Félix Lemieux, Kevin Barrington, Maryse Arseneault, Fernando Lazzari and Matthew Hayes.

GSN

website: Text(e) Image Beat 


Poster.

La version française sera bientôt disponible

Curators’ Commentary
Valerie LeBlanc and Daniel H. Dugas

Video poetry is a genre that is increasingly drawing the attention of both audiences and creators. We have come a long way since moving pictures with sound required a vast and expensive array of infrastructure and personnel. We are also in a time when the visual vocabulary and knowledge of signifiers is more familiar to wider audiences. This should not come as too great a surprise when we think that what is considered to be the first documented photograph was made close to 200 years ago[1] and that moving picture techniques pioneered in the early 20th century resulted in the first feature film with sound,The Jazz Singer in1927. While photography, moving pictures, and recorded sound / music were first thought to hold value for documentary applications only, the use of these tools are constantly transforming our concepts of art. Through time-based media, ideas move into the thought process; visceral effects are imprinted.

Creators are now presenting their texts visually and / or performing their poems. Many have realized that messages can be effectively conveyed using the multimodal character of video poetry. Similarly to advertisements created for marketing campaigns, these works are characteristically short, less than 5 minutes in duration. Some festivals are asking for works as short as one minute, the duration of some TV ads. The videos in this program have been chosen for their content as well as for the techniques that each creator uses to portray the meaning and aesthetic sense of the content.

The call for Text(e) / Image / Beat did not specify particular themes. Through the necessity of paring down the choices and assembling a flow of works that complemented and gave space to each other, we became aware of recurrent elements. In spite of the fact that the videos originate from many distinct locations, ideas of awaiting / finding miracles and mysteries of living, are frequent. Each work exhibits innovation and imagination, calling upon a wide range of skills to layer meaning. Slam poetry, rants, softly spoken words, hand written notes, and remixes are all used to articulate.

In Pre-Occupied, texts over images; multi-layering stereotypical references from popular culture and memes relating to current and past events carry Heid E. Erdrich’s words like a fast moving river. References to the first American Thanksgiving, Alcatraz, Wounded Knee, Indigenous activists; key words and statements are thrown; fonts are visually woven with voice intonation to deliver meaning. The video opens with an excerpt from Langston Hughes’ The Negro Speaks of Rivers: ‘I’ve known rivers: Ancient, dusky rivers. My soul has grown deep like the rivers.’ Erdrich states the title: Pre-Occupied and then begins her powerful litany, ‘River, River, River, I Never, Never, Never etched your spiral icon in limestone …’. Hughes words continue under Erdrich’s. The dynamics of the lead-in continue through to the end. Closing credits are accompanied with an Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe) translation of John Lennon’s ImaginePre-Occupied hits chords of dreams for political and social equality: held, dashed, revisited and restated.

A series of spirals are drawn over the neck in the opening scenes of Hannah Black’s video of the same name. Through calling attention to the limitations of her childhood drawings, Black brings a discussion of identity. With her own body as the starting point, she steers her words toward ‘… an improbable form of mediation between a self and its constituent parts: family, body, race, gender, …’ Essentially, her video addresses the whole world and its concerns as she draws the personal into the political arena.

In Our Bodies, Matt Mullins remixes a sermon by televangelist Oral Roberts, cutting away excess material, repeating words and phrases, using split screens, and setting inserts to emphasize specific gestures. Mullins closes the videopoem with an excerpt from a sinners’ prayer, ‘… I am ready to perform a miracle in your life … expect delivery.’ As Oral Roberts interprets the Bible, Matt Mullins, in turn interprets Oral Roberts.[2]

Martha Cooley’s Dog Sitting in Eastern Passage uses a combination of devices. While handwritten pages from a notebook bring her thoughts to life, the pages are set within sequences of photos to create movement. Thrown by a heartbroken author, a dog fetches sticks along the Atlantic coastline. Through the work we are reminded of that basic miracle of video and film media, the persistence of vision that brings us the illusion of movement.

John D. Scott breathes life into Elizabeth Bishop’s 1965 poem Sandpiper. He interprets that Bishop anthropomorphizes into the bird. While sandpipers are known to flit persistently on beaches, her life as a revered writer of short stories and poetry was also one of searches, observations, of taking many directions. A haunting whistle, a rattle and clicks of the typewriter open the video and continue to underline the spoken word. Scott’s collaboration includes rotoscoped bird images by Anna Bron and Andrew Whyte, stills and slow moving images of water and beach. Particular passages are emphasized and punctuated through movement and voice.

Having coined ‘videopoetry’ in 1978, Tom Konyves is recognized as one of the pioneers of the genre. In his video ow (n) ed, politically charged meanings are layered and set into a crypted triptych that he describes as a postmodern vision of human slavery. Punctuated by jazz notes, Konyves has positioned quotes from American Slavery As It Is: Testimony of a Thousand Witnesses[3] on the left. In the center, a tower of humans is constructed and collapses.[4] Consumer commentaries play on the right. As the video progresses, messages on the left spill over, slipping to the right. Through erasure (dropping regions of the text and remixing), Konyves is implying new meanings.

Well known for remix, collaborations and atmospheric compositions, Marc Neys (aka SWOON) has supplied the concept, editing, and music in the creation of Five Miles (Simple Brushstrokes on a Naked Canvas). Howie Good has contributed the poemExcerpts from the 1944 American Military documentary Target for Today, speak about possible bombing but no bodies are seen. Throughout the video an ominous voice repeats ‘five miles.’ Instead of increasing or decreasing the distance to the target, we are forced to hover in abstraction. A slow moving, amorphous bubble suddenly appears. As it floats over green grass the text ‘because a feeling has no form’ is spelled out. In the bellicose tone set by the video, this colorful bubble carries a menacing hint of possible outcomes.

Michel Félix Lemieux’s Brûle le bois vert takes us on a train ride at night. A moving spotlight illuminates the view through a square window. Lemieux describes this work as a poetic and confused reflection on exodus. While we are almost deprived of images in the video, the text is loaded with saturated colors. The words contaminate what we are seeing. In a poem that offers glimpses of mental and emotional moods over any coherent flow of thought, an awareness of solitude pervades.

Kevin Barrington’s I Love the Internet is a skillful fast rant by this Dublin based copywriter and blogger. A collaborative project with Irish animation artist and illustrator Bruce Ryder, the poem advances through use of psychedelic colors and a text matte over quick moving images. The video derives from Barrington’s multi-media e-book of the same name. Barrington states, ‘The impulse was to repel a rising wave of establishment antipathy to social media expression that took hold early in 2013 and threatened to silence satire and online political heckling.’

In constructing Retenir son souffle, Maryse Arsenault used French and English to deliver her texts; a speaking and singing voice; images and sound shot in her own environment; and found footage of a weather phenomenon. The voice, which we understand as Maryse, asks for help. It is the voice that we sometimes need to hear when we are hoping for a miracle. The video ends with sounds of whistling and a bell like that of a life buoy. A small bird goes out and returns 3 times; the repetition works like an incantation in the closing of this lullaby.

Montserrat follows Retenir son souffle in the program. These two very different videopoems explore threads of holding up the world through dark times. To relate an excerpt of Jorge Luis Borges’ Amanecer (Break of Day), Fernando Lazzari uses ‘font as character’. Borges’ poem speaks of a world held together by the imagination of those who inhabit the night, until the day returns and others awake to define its shape with their presence. At times, images move rapidly; sometimes they hover to become imprinted as font generation builds monuments to the words.

Slam Poet Sasha Patterson performs her poem Tonight is for the Trees; cinematography and editing is by Matthew Hayes, with music by Lee Rosevere. Patterson walks out of the darkness along a tree-lined road. At first lit by only a flashlight, she is suddenly in full light and continues to address her audience as she walks toward the camera. The effect is simple and effective. Tonight is for the Trees brings reminders of Christopher Dewdney’s August as both poems celebrate summer and life in southern Ontario.[5] Each passage of Dewdney’s list: nature’s creatures and the beauty of geological formations begins with ‘because’.  Patterson repeats ‘ tonight is for …’ before each new item in her long list of dedications. Links between the two works are not literal but meet in sentiment, intention and appreciation for life, nature and the human presence in it all. Patterson’s fresh and confident voice epitomizes hope.

While Pre-Occupied dropped us into the middle of all things worldly and imagined, Tonight is for the Trees brings closing notes to Image / Text(e) / Beat. In the long history of the known and unknown, the visible and the invisible, the spoken and the unspoken, video poetry sets the prompts, the magic of visions hinted by the words, images and sounds. Rhythm set by videopoetry widens the chances of getting messages out. We hope that a tradition of video poetry will come to be established in Moncton. With the number of poets per capita, it seems to be a viable, and maybe inevitable prospect.

[1] The First Photograph, Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin:http://www.hrc.utexas.edu/exhibitions/permanent/firstphotograph/

Nicéphore Niépce, Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicéphore_Niépce

[2] To appreciate the effectiveness of Mullins’ remix, check out The Hand of God, from Oral Roberts Crusade, St. Petersburg, FL (1964) on You Tube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGi_vRS9zH8

[3] Theodore Dwight Weld, 1803-1895, ‘American Slavery As It Is: Testimony of a Thousand Witnesses’: http://docsouth.unc.edu/neh/weld/summary.html

[4] In 2010, castells of Catalonia were declared by UNESCO to be amongst the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity: http://www.unesco.org/culture/ich/index.php?lg=en&pg=00011&RL=00364

[5] Christopher Dewdney, August, Poetry In Motion (1982), YouTube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CN3AaYp_kyY

Daniel H. Dugas

Artiste numérique, poète et musicien, Daniel Dugas a participé à des expositions individuelles et de groupe ainsi qu’à plusieurs festivals et événements de poésie en Amérique du Nord, en Europe, au Mexique et en Australie. Son neuvième recueil de poésie L’esprit du temps / The Spirit of the Time vient de paraître aux Éditions Prise de parole.

Daniel Dugas is a poet, musician and videographer. He has participated in solo and group exhibitions as well as festivals and literary events in North America, Europe, Mexico and Australia. His ninth book of poetry: L’esprit du temps / The Spirit of the Time has just been published by Les Éditions Prise de parole.

Daniel Dugas es poeta, músico y videocreador. Ha participado en exposiciones individuales y colectivas, festivals y eventos literarios en Norteamérica, Europa, México y Australia. Acaba de publicar su noveno poemario, L’esprit du temps / The spirit of time (Les Editions Prise de parole).

L’esprit du temps / The Spirit of the Time est un projet de transmutation du paysage publicitaire en paysage poétique. Ce livre est à la fois un livre de photographie, un recueil de poésie et un essai lucide mais ludique sur notre société matérialiste. Il a été produit en numérique et imprimé en quantité limitée.

Date : Décembre 2015
Genre : Poésie
Collection : Poésie
ISBN : 9782894239629

Éditions Prise de parole

http://www.prisedeparole.ca/auteurs/?id=148

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