Category Archives: Videopoem of the week

Dictionary Illustrations – Marie Craven

Dictionary Illustrations is a funny and rhythmic videopoem by Marie Craven.

Dictionary Illustrations Marie Craven

A rare example among the usual videopoems made in video, this animation of encyclopaedia illustrations embodies the aesthetics of gifs. This mix of an antique content with contemporary form is really interesting: a rhythmic and quick editing, a simple naïve music based on loops, typography cut off and displayed over a moving background,a hypnotic use of the usual statism that defines pictures whose only task is to inform.

Dictionary Illustrations can be defined as a result from the now extinct project The Poetry Storehouse, an American online database of poems and audio recitings that encouraged remix and free usage with the aim of creating videopoems.

Sara Sloath’s poem is a tribute to curiosity: why dictionaries don’t have a picture for verbs, why lines are like that, why is so difficult to describe the shape of leaves… The voice of the kid who recites transmits an innocence that, along with the meticulous character of music, highlights the whole videopoem.

Dictionary Illustrations won this last edition of O’Bheal International Poetry-Film Competition.

What is love – Eduardo Yagüe

Eduardo Yagüe investigates the essence of relationships in his videopoem “What is love?”

love eduardo yagüe

“What is love?” is a poem by Lucy English, translated and recited by Eduardo Yagüe. He also directs the videopoem. As the main character we find Steffan Carlson.

What is love, asks the poem. Definitions of the feeling narrate the progression of a relationship: the beginnings, discovery, home, family, time, old age, memory. They are no common definitions but poetic reconstructions of an unbreakable bond.

The contrast between the poem and the video is absolutely devastating, thus effective. A paralell history emerges in our minds: one of the protagonists of the poem, now an old man, alone in a big empty house, tries to spend time while remembering, in absolute solitude and sadness, when “they never felt alone”.

Eduardo Yagüe studied Dramatic Arts and Spanish Language and Literature. In Madrid he worked as an actor in theater and film. Parallel he has been writing  poetry and stories since he was young. Actors usually play the main role in their videopoems, made with the base of touching and intense poems. His works and collaborations have been screened at videoart and videopoetry festivals in Spain, Holland, Belgium, USA, Germany, Australia, Canada, Greece and Portugal.

Anomia – Mónica Ezquerra

Mónica Ezquerra is a Spanish artist who works with photography, collage and video art. All of their creations have a deep poetic essence, sometimes underlying, sometimes clear. This is “Anomia”.

anomia mónica ezquerra

After dissecting arthropods in collage series “Menagerie”, in “Anomia” Mónica performs a conceptual dissection of the components of a poem. This video is based on the original recording of Ulises Carrión’s “Poema” (1977), a litany of the semantic categories that build the skeleton of a poem empty of any meaning but exposed in its structure. Title. Text. Stanza. Verse. Word. In terms of imagery, a stream of signals constantly in motion, repetitions, duplications, a visual essay that recalls the sediment layers. In fact, as she herself describes:

“Sediments, clottings, projections that language exercises in me.

Their flows, fluids, intensitiy streams. Dismantling.

After the indecisive labile of language word speech, who is left?”

Je tourne mon visage vers vous – Veronique Sapin

“My name is Human Being. I have the right to choose everything in my life; just like you; because it’s only natural. ISN’ T IT ?” With this defying question, multimedia artist and curator Véronique Sapin introduces her videopoem “I am turning my face towards you”.

Je tourne mon visage vers vous - Veronique Sapin

“I am turning my face towards you. There is no reason I couldn’t trust you because you are a human being too”. In words by Véronique Sapin:

“This is the way we imagine what should be the highest shape of the relations between the human beings. We are still far from this ideal. I chose to speak about one of these acts which drive humanity to regress towards the animal: the acid attack. That is a crime with a marked gender skew. Women and girls are victims in 75-80% of cases. Of the female victims, about 30% are under 18. 1,500 cases are recorded around the world every year. However that is likely to be massively underreported. Most victims are fearful to report it to the police for fear of reprisal. The acid attacks are increasing.”

Such a simple gesture as turning your face towards the person who’s speaking to us, an image dyed white and over-exposed symbolizing inocence, is the basis of this tripartite videopoem. The initial text (“My name is Human Being”) is a declaration of the equality of rights and realities among human beings. It crawls under a feminine face. Sentences with the effects of acid form the core. In the end, the initial text turns (“My name is Female”) into concrete examples of women narrating the horrible experience of suffering an acid attack. The brutality of these words takes up the whole screen and, as it happens in reality, ends eroding the face completely. Until just an empty space remains. A black void.