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A One Minute Videopoem (with some lines from): Dale Favier's 'Mask'

direct link to videopoem: Mask. Best to watch fullscreen if you can.

"...the mask was exactly what she was searching for, exactly 
what she needed: a face threaded over her face, a light 
threaded over her light. 

You speak, and the mask begins to speak, 
and the listening takes fire."

Dale Favier: Mask (link to his original blog post).

 Slipping away, between
 restraints.

Voices, performance, video, Brenda Clews.
_
Dale just had a book of poetry published, 'Opening the World, and while the lines I've quoted aren't from his book, the video is a celebration of Dale's poetry, with its brilliances and depths.


Foraging around my remaining hard drives, I came across a 17 second clip from a dance practice a few months ago that I still find intriguing. In it, I wrap my face in fabric, making a mask.

Starting with that clip, I copied, layered, lengthened - basically played. Then I added a minibit of the thunderstorm you saw in The Wall, looping some footage of lightning flashing through a tree. Last night, on my iPhone, I recorded the poem over and over. Today I imported the tracks into GarageBand and decided the use them all -as a background, a sort of chorus, a room full of people where you might feel the need to wear a mask. But the voices are reciting Dale's poem and my little ending. Then I picked one of those voices to dominate the reading. I hope it works to your ear. At about a minute, it's possibly my shortest videopoem. I enjoyed moving between colour and black and white and layering the figure. All in all, while making this videopoem took far longer than I anticipated, I'm happy with it. And sure do hope Dale likes it, too.
_
Update, Sept 12th. Dale posted Mask at his blog, and wrote that I made this mask:
...riffing on a blog post of mine. Amazing.

It's one of the deepest pleasures, having someone take your work and make something new with it. Art to me is nothing more nor less than conversation. I have no interest in making objects, per se: I only want to talk to people: to them and through them and with them and by them.

Elves began it, of course, waking trees up and teaching them to speak and learn their tree-talk. They always wished to talk to everything, the old Elves did."
I'll include my comment here, too:

We all inspire each other. I love the word, resonate, and that's what it is. Bachelard, in The Poetics of Space, says the poetic image enters us, our consciousness, our psyches, and resonates in all the depths, and I've always felt that was it, that's what happens. A pebble dropped in a deep well. A tuning fork reverberating. That's how your images in that piece of writing were for me.

The body under your healing fingers, or the feline curl of your cat, or your pulse against her pulse just under her ear, or Ahab, or the slant of light. And then the mask, a face threaded with light, that reverberated deeply. In the videopoem the mask of echoes, reflections, multiples, resonated into Burkas, and bandages, and even how shy I am in rooms of people and how I want to cover myself. Then how our forms themselves are moments, chrysalises, weavings of electricity and earth as the elements move through us, masks for our spirits. The tree that I open and close with and have underneath the room throughout the video, shudders with lightning.

_
While I'm copying in comments from other sites here, it's easier for me to collect them this way, I'll add another exchange from Facebook (before it disappears in the endless streaming wall):


Ann Marcaida Love it! I think not only of personas, but also of wounded veterans and the recent face transplant patients. Very timely work. I should also add that I love the rich fabric that decorate your stage.



Brenda Clews Thank you, Ann... yes, I found the footage -it was a 17sec clip- strange, too. What was I doing? I became not-me in that fabric I wrapped around my head, peering out a Burka-like gap. 
It reminded me of everything you've mentioned, and women who wear the 'full veil,' are buried alive in fabric, and oh, head wounds, surgeries, so many things. Something ominous in that head-wrapping, like taking on the strange incantations of an Ancient Egyptian mummy.

But also the mundane - our own daily masks. In a room full of people, the way I made the layered sound track, I disappear into a mask of sorts, too. The clip reminded me of situations in which my shyness was painful.

  

Then, to wrap this with another layer of potential meaning, Dale's poetry brings the transcendance into the moving-image, into the video, and I sought to have that paradox evident. An entrapment that is a release. The light is luminescent, like the beautiful lines of poetry.

The woman who hid herself, became herself. The woman who gave up her ego, found release. Reminds me a little of a great book I have been really influenced by, The Woman Who Pretended to Be Who She Was became herself.

And sometimes our masks are Masks of God or the Divine. Dale's lines point in that direction for me.

So, between the visual imagery as it moves through its minute of time, I had hoped many divergent and paradoxical aspects of the mask, to paraphrase Dale's lines, like 'threaded light over her face' would emerge in the viewer's imagination.



Perhaps this videopoem has been mulling in my subconscious,
I made this photopoem out of some stills from that footage a few months ago.

Just a couple more comments over at Facebook that I wanted to keep but can't transfer to a comment here without losing the urls, of having the laborious task of linking them again:


  • Brenda Clews Facebook will not make YouTube videos a live link. Puts hands on hips, shakes finger at The Book of Faces.
    September 11 at 10:38pm · 

  • Brenda Clews Oh, but The Book of Faces *will* make it a live link in a comment! Go figure.
    http://youtu.be/dq85uul9V4Q


    www.youtube.com
    ‎"...the mask was exactly what she was searching for, exactly what she needed: a...See More


    September 11 at 10:40pm ·  · 

  • Stirling Davenport I really like the voices in this one so much. Makes a very interesting melange of words.
    September 11 at 11:38pm ·  ·  1 person

  • Brenda Clews You know, Stirling, I do these videos off in my own little corner and have no idea if anything resonates.... so I am especially appreciative of your sensitive response to the track of voices, one voice reading the same lines over and over, all put together so it became a party of voices, which I really did work on for far too long. :) Thank you, thank you. ♥
    September 11 at 11:55pm ·  ·  1 person

  • Pierre-Marie Cœdes Very surrealistic Brenda, impressive and awesome to look at and listen to. So much excitement in your creations. Thank you for sharing ♥♥♥
    September 12 at 9:02am · 

  • Brenda Clews Pierre-Marie, what a sweet comment, thank you! ♥♥ I enjoy layering my videopoems with images that are echoes and reflections and multiples. :) Life is like this, in the unity we are, when I think of you, for instance, I have a welatschuung of your music, comments, photos of the incredible home you grew up in, photos (at least as a presence) on Barbara's trips to France, a nexus of different types of images, sonic or visual or thoughtful. This is my approach in videopoems with whatever images I'm working with. I'm a little uncomfortable using myself as subject matter, but, hey, I don't charge modelling fees, so I'm free to myself! ::laughing:: But it's most fun when it's finished! So glad you came and saw my bit of weekend madness!!!!!!


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Comments (2)

Silver-Tint Photo


...the mask was exactly what she was searching for, exactly
what she needed: a face threaded over her face,
a light threaded over her light.

You speak, and the mask begins to speak,
and the listening takes fire.

Dale Favier

                  Slipping away, between
      restraints.


_
(click photos for larger size)

Dale's Mask slightly paraphrased, a change of pronoun
Comments (7)
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