Showing posts with label videopoem. Show all posts
Showing posts with label videopoem. Show all posts

Saturday, April 30, 2016

'Split Mask' videopoem published in CrossBridge

Split Mask is a political poem. It is an interlaced, layered, multi-media piece that took 3 years to complete. It is about dictators and refugees, about the masks we wear, what the torn mask hides and reveals. It is about what I hear on inside of the mask.

My performance videopoem has been published in the inaugural issue of CrossBridge, an International Journal of Multidisciplinaryand Progressive Research. It's on page 21. The journal looks wonderful, and I'm honoured to be included. (The link will open a free PDF of the journal on-line; there is also a print version that can be purchased.)


direct link: Split Mask

Dr. Robert Caine sent an email responding to my submission to their journal, CrossBridge:
Your creative and artistic video is layered with powerful and thought-provoking messages that truly gives your viewers much to contemplate regarding an array of global issues....Again, thank you for your accomplished work.
Another comment that I received that I thought offered insight into Split Mask was from my friend, John Oughton, who I first sent the finished version to for feedback:
It's hypnotic. That prismatic beating heart, the overlays, the found stills and videos of suffering in Syria, the voice full of feeling... it made me realize that the split mask is a portal, not a disguise, a way to how everything/others are broken themselves, split from peace, from safety.


The story of how Split Mask arose and developed from a single burning image:

In the spring of 2013, an 'image' appeared in my mind of a 'split mask', and it obsessed me. Thinking I would have to build a mask from scratch, I put off constructing what I saw so clearly in my vision. But I found a cardboard base at an art store. I ripped it roughly and, with masking tape and cotton wading, papier-mâchéd it with white glue and water so that it was strong, and painted it white.

After the mask was made, I was compelled, in the way the muse compels, to write a poem so that I could create a performance piece wearing the mask for poetry readings. The poem was beating on the inside of my head and gave me no peace until I began to write it. The poem, 'Split Mask,' took a year to write, and went through a number of readers and poetry workshops until it was honed to the version here. The poem was completed in the summer of 2014.

In the meantime, I had a solo show at Urban Gallery in Toronto in January and February 2014. I needed one more painting for the show. For 3 days, just before New Year's, I turned my computer and phone off, and painted a 5' square painting, a self-portrait of the split mask and the art skeleton wearing the yellow lace that I stored it on. Earlier that fall, I had had one of those 'visionary' moments - I saw a large canvas with a diagonal mass of gold rising. 'Split Mask' is a copper and metal gold leaf, charcoal, graphite and acrylic painting and was ready for its early January 2014 installation.

In the summer of 2014, I was memorizing the poem, Split Mask, for a poetry feature at 100,000 Poets for Change in Toronto. I set up a video camera and performed it in front of the painting. This rehearsal became the core of the performance videopoem you see here.

Asked to feature at a fundraiser for a Syrian Refugee put on by the United Church in Toronto, I decided to show some of my unpublished videopoems. I made a very rough cut of Split Mask, adding war footage I found on The Internet Archives. Note: although I began writing the poem the summer the dictator of Syria began using chemical weapons on his own people, nowhere in the poem does it mention him or Syria specifically. The poem, rather, refers to these issues in a more universal way.

Wishing to complete the Split Mask video, a friend offered me a deadline to present it at a private poetry salon in January 2016, and so I locked myself away for weeks producing it. I added a number of effects. Looking through an old hard drive, I found various photo shoots in the split mask taken over the years (I use myself as model because I'm free - can't afford to pay actors or models). I also had an echocardiogram done in 2014, and obtained a medical CD of it because I wanted to use it in a videopoem - it was challenging, but somehow I transferred some footage onto my Mac (the medical imagery is Windows-based). I woke one morning knowing that I had to use that footage in Split Mask. The echocardiogram clips are untouched: the blue is blood from my veins, the red is oxygenated blood pumping out through my arteries, the pace is the actual pulse of my heart.

Split Mask, then, is a layered poem and performance videopoem.


I have a chapbook, Performance Poems (Epopeia Press 2016), with the poem, 'Split Mask' that I sell at videoperformances around town. Please contact me through my website if you would like to purchase the chapbook: http://brendaclews.com
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 brendaclews.com

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Video: Two Poems by Linda Stitt from her, 'Acting My Age.'

Here are two poems from Linda Stitt's, 'Acting My Age,' and read by her at her poetry book launch at Portobello on April 13, 2013. At 81 years of age, she remains a beautiful woman and poet who I am honoured to know through her ongoing series, Portobello Saturdays, in Toronto.

In the first scene, Ann-Marie Boudreau plays an Oscar drum while Linda reads. Ann-Marie's music and voice is something I could rave about too.

Two astounding women artists!


direct link: Poems by Linda Stitt from 'Acting My Age.' (note: I'm now using another of my YouTube accounts to host my videos of poets, musicians and artists)

I'm a guest poet this afternoon at the lovely Portobello Saturdays that are hosted by Linda Stitt and Peter Solmes. Poetry, jazz, a lovely restaurant with good food, it's always such a pleasure to go to this event.

995 Bay St., north of Wellesley on the East side, from 1:30pm - 4:30pm.

Because of my feature this afternoon, I went searching through my video footage and thankfully found some I'd taken of Linda's launch last April. A little video I put together - it's just over 2 minutes.



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 brendaclews.com

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Nik Beat @Videofag


direct link: Nik Beat @Videofag

A clip of Nik Beat performing a poem at Videofag in Kensington Market in Toronto on March 16, 2013. A live performance. Videoed and edited by Brenda Clews.

This one is a complete enough poem that I added it to my videopoetry playlist at YouTube, and am tagging it as a videopoem.

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 brendaclews.com

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

'First Death in Nova Scotia': John Scott's adaptation of a poem by Elizabeth Bishop


direct link: First Death in Nova Scotia: an adaptation of a poem by Elizabeth Bishop

John Scott's new cinepoem is strange and haunting and beautiful: 'First Death in Nova Scotia,' a new adaptation of an Elizabeth Bishop poem. John wrote in an email:

"I would love it if you could spread the word on your facebook page or blog. We're seeking a wide audience for it in an effort to build energy and credibility for a longer documentary we want to make on the poet Elizabeth Bishop. I know that you're a busy person and your help is definitely appreciated!"

With a death in my family last year, my 89 year old mother passed away peacefully in a nearby nursing home, and memories of a deceased second cousin, a middle-aged man, lying in a coffin in a house in England when I was perhaps eight years old, this cinepoem moved me in that profound way that gazing upon someone who has died does. The whiteness, the life etched in the features, the form that is already dissolving. And of course the tragedy, and an unearthly peace. Yet, as Scott's cinepoem shows with the animation, the voiceover, the poet who gazes upon death is also in the strange and mysterious realm of art-making, of an imaginative excess that forms metaphors of living, and the ability to withstand through those metaphors. The paintings whose eyes move, the shot stuffed loon on its iced lake of white marble who watches with a knowing that the child understands, such metaphors (both verbally in Bishop's poem and visually in Scott's enactment) enable a coherence and meaning in the comprehension of our impermanent lives.


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 brendaclews.com

Friday, November 30, 2012

'Ink Ocean' performed live at HOWL@QSpace



Ink Ocean: http://youtu.be/w4Xs2dIt2m4

On Nov 25, 2012, I performed my prose poem 'Ink Ocean,' on the Gulf Oil Spill, as one of the featured poets at Nik Beat's HOWL@QSpace in Toronto. I had memorized the prose poem. The image of the ink drawing, from which the poem emerged, only appears in the still for the video (I've included an image at the end of this post for you). I'm actually quite happy with the performance itself - passionate, intense, and yet clear enunciation.

Ink Ocean is about the oil spill that occurred in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 when nearly 5 million barrels, or 210 million gallons, of crude oil were spilled into the sea due to an explosion of an off-shore drilling rig. It remains the largest marine spill in the history of the petroleum industry.

Over 5 months, hydro-carbon eating bacteria devoured 200,000 tons of oil and natural gas in the Gulf, and then stopped. Despite the massive cleaning efforts by the oil industry and governments, and the efforts of the bacteria, as of 2012, 40% of the spill remains in the waters.

This prose poem began as writing in an ink drawing. It took 6 - 8 months to finish, and was revised in preparation for this reading.  It is an experimental poem structually. A poem of utterance, of cross-currents and paradoxes. It is composed of many voices, and perspective shifts.

There are two parts. The first is on the oil spill, and the second is about love in a world bordering on oblivion, a world that's half spirit. We are in the 6th Mass Extinction on the earth. This is the backdrop.

The poem starts out in the Gulf and moves with the Gulf Stream to the Atlantic Ocean where it becomes a love poem. Can we love in a world inviting extinction? Yes, of course we can, and must.

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With thanks to Nik Beat, Q Space and Luciano Iacobelli. It was a great evening.




Ink Ocean, 2010, 13" x 16", India ink on archival paper. My prose poem on the Gulf Oil Spill, Ink Ocean, emerged from this drawing. The poem was revised in 2012.

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 brendaclews.com

Monday, August 27, 2012

an écriture,... a dream writing


an écriture,... a dream writing (an unlisted videopoem)

Écriture. Handwriting, yes. But this is Dream Writing. You can't quite read it, but you know it is important.

A test clip for a video poem I am working on called, 'Palmistry, a Psalm.' This was taken with a Canon GL2 that I bought in 2003, and I greatly magnified one corner of the clip. My naughty, no playful, kitten was put in the bathroom for the videoing and, wouldn't you know it, her dear bleet is quite plaintively clear. If I use any of the footage from today in the actual videopoem, not sure how I will handle that. Lol.

But it's all part of the dream............


(also, titles made using the YouTube 'Enhancements' option)
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 brendaclews.com

Friday, June 01, 2012

Retreat to Beautiful Objects


direct link: Retreat to Beautiful Objects

When I retreated to my world of beautiful objects.

She was a dream, not the mask but how I composed her in Tangled Garden.

A vegetative force, Nature, birth, life, death, decay, mulch, compost. Beautiful and frightening. Strange dreams, the unknowable body itself. Life consuming life to live, plant or animal. Cells fuse to make new life, new connections, new hybrids. Wood/trees; metal/circuitry; bone/grafts; skin/love. Teeming presence.

I come from a jungle, the nature I write of is not pastoral, pretty. A fibrous network of vast connections. Natural processes. We are Nature looking at herself through her own eyes. This slip of consciousness viewing the universe for a knowing moment, soon to be lost. How can we forget the hungry ghosts, the floral opera singing in us?

An ecology of consciousness. An understanding of the parasitical and angelic. Leave the savageries. Our worlds of beautiful objects call us to retreat.

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What I wrote at YouTube:

...to celebrate the unexpected popularity of my long videopoem, Tangled Garden, http://youtu.be/OG37qWh4rTM, a slow art film of a triptych of earth poems, Surreal, mythopoetic, a rhizoma of images, metaphors, explorations, philosophies (with English subtitles). I had originally thought to paint a Tangled Garden painting to give away when the video reached 1500 views (my daughter's claimed the painting, so some other celebratory gift), and began making a video of the process of the painting.

There's lots of aspects here - from the drawing and painting itself to photos of the making of the papier-mache mask, to a dance in the woods which inspired the figures in the painting. The fishnet gloves - don't you adore them! - will now be featured in any future art videos. I just love them!

The writing came out of a dream I was having during a nap when I was considering what to say in the video. It's more of a piece about the poetic process in the poems in Tangled Garden, what sort of consciousness is holding sway. I woke up laughing. I felt a bit strange laughing all by myself in a dark room late at night for the recording for sure!

Prefer the video without the subtitles, but they're there for the hearing impaired, those who like to read along, and for YouTube automatic translation into one of 25 languages if the viewer is not fully conversant in English.

Music is Pierre-Marie Cœdès' 'Whirling Thoughts,' from his album, "Insomnia": http://www.jamendo.com/en/list/a94667/insomnia (with his permission). It is a great album, do go and listen.





brendaclews.com

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Beginning a painting as a gift for 'Tangled Garden' (47sec)

I have been absolutely flabbergasted that 'Tangled Garden' has reached like 800 views already - a 22min art film of 3 long poems, unheard of - and I want to celebrate!!! So I am offering a painting as a gift. I will choose someone by raffle out of the many comments this videopoem has received. If you like the videopoem, do let me know that you've watched it by leaving a comment on Tangled Garden at YouTube:

  direct link: http://youtu.be/OG37qWh4rTM

Leaving a comment here so I can add you to the raffle here is fine... the drawing or painting I'm working on as a gift is 18" x 24" on triple primed canvas sheet that you can pin to the wall or mount on board and then frame - this video is a test run. I am going to try to make a better video of the painting in process! yes! It's quite a bit of work, a painting, and a video - but you, my audience, are more than worth it!!)

Many thanks! xoxoxoxo ♥♥♥

Little 47 second clip I made today to see if making a video of the process of the drawing/painting might be interesting (not sure if it would be of interest to you, the viewer - if there's not much of a response, I won't go to the trouble of hooking up a camera but will just work on the painting).


direct link to this on Facebook

Later: Where it's at past midnight. Cell phone pic. If you don't leave a comment before this painting is gifted, don't worry! I'll offer another at 5000 views. :)



brendaclews.com

Friday, January 27, 2012

I thought no-one would take the time to watch Tangled Garden

I am humbled and amazed by these responses to my latest and most ambitious and longest videopoem, Tangled Garden. I thought no-one would take the time to watch it, and I am still taken aback that anyone has. I have a confession to make, I save these comments for bleak days. You have no idea how you inspire me and how much I love you all.

Francois Caroline writes: "Yes this film is good, I am a French poet, writing all day long, but I have never seen such a beautiful creation."

Pierre-Marie Cœdes writes: "I am astounded by so much intelligent creativity : poem, recitation, body performance, imagery, effects, editing, the music with entrancing voice ... all this has led me into an hypnotic voyage, guided by an entrancing voice depicting a world of sensations, inside invisible universal actions, kaleidoscope beings... I just could not take my eyes off the rapture of the incessant movements of the beautiful energized figures in motion ... and ... and ... this is a real masterpiece of art in motion, the expression of a human spirit entangled in so many nature forces, creating, destroying, returning ...

Read the explanation of the author, Brenda Clews, if you do not want to lose your senses ...

Awesome and astounding ..."

Bill Sprague writes: "I just finished watching it. Oh My God, Brenda !! -- That was AMAZING.. I have not had the pleasure to absorb anything so powerful in at least a dozen years. Spiritual, mystical, classically timeless... flowers fly with my standing ovation. Excellent Work !!!"



direct link: Tangled Garden

Tangled Garden is a triptych of nature poems (by me):

-A Floral Opera (2011)
-In the Hands of the Garden Gods (1979)
-Slipstream, the Tangled Garden (2006)

(with impromtu speaking between the poems, which each end with ~~~ in the subtitle track.)

Beautiful singing by the musician, Catherine Corelli from her album, Seraphic Tears (2010) (with her permission).

Note: This video is subtitled. Click on the CC on the play bar to activate or de-activate the subtitles. YouTube will also automatically translate the subtitles into 25 languages if English is not your main language and you would like to get the gist of the poetry.

A blog post describing the making of Tangled Garden.

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Almost There!

I did some very simple things to my 22 minute triptych of nature poems, Tangled Garden, and now have to wait for 9 hours of rendering! Then I'll save to a video format for uploading, which will likely take another 9 hours, then upload to YouTube, and wait for their processing to complete, so, tweets, peeps, and friends, maybe this project that's taken the greater part of a year will be live by Thursday!

Finishing it is on my 2012 list, and yay, almost there! Only 3 more pre-planned projects to go! Colour of Near Death, Wear White Paint for the Moon, and Double Lotus, the last two are performance pieces, which are hard for me to justify doing, given my age, but ageism is not my problem (it's yours if you discriminate against older women), onward, fearless, fearless!


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