Anansi Hides the Moon


direct link: Anansi Hides the Moon

A painting, 'Parchment Figures: Doubles, Doppelgängers, Clones,' hanging on a wall. Sunlight moving through wind-waving branches falls through a window onto it. You can also see the shadows of the window itself. That morning I was absorbed watching the light and shadows dancing quietly over the painting and videotaped it. Then, on an evening walk I came across a light on a patio with a thick white gauzy curtain around it, and shot some footage with my iPhone video camera. Later, playing with the footage, I added the billowing curtain and its light next to the painting of doubles and shadows. Then I cut sections of a photograph of the painting out, animated them and added them to the film. Finally, pondering on what I had produced, I wrote a whimsical poem of the African trickster spider god, Anansi, and wove it in with handwritten notes.

It does have a serious theme - can you guess it?

Take a moment to look at the moon.

(An aside: the video as it shaped itself inspired the poem. I made the video and then wrote the poem over a few days, meditating on each tiny section to see what was emerging/wanting to be said. I swear Anansi, the trickster, was loose in my computer, though, since sections of the video kept inexplicably changing while I was working on the text. Eventually I had to use a video I'd made of the footage only for the trickiest text -the opening title- which had repeatedly, every time I tried to lay it on the timeline, caused bizarre things to happen to all the other tracks, like shortening them or making them speed up for small durations, but chaotically and if you fixed this, that went off. Nothing like this has ever happened when I've edited a video before. It was as if the components of the video had taken on a life of their own. I kept resorting to the earlier versions FCE saves in 'the vault' before using a 'fixed' file, the .mov file I uploaded to Vimeo a few days back. These trickster gods do keep us hopping!)

The painting, from chalk drawing to nearly finished, can be viewed here: Parchment Figures: Doubles, Doppelgängers, Clones.
Flute music a very small section of 'Bodydrama at the Nave' by ARTSomerville.
This videopoem was featured at Moving Poems.


Anansi Hides the Moon

Anansi
the spider
dropped
in from
where
African
gods and
goddesses
hang out

Anansi
hid
the moon
behind a
curtain

The sun flickered

The parchment
figures, doubles,
doppelgangers
and clones
barely
noticed

The days
were
sun bright
and the city
was electric
light
at night

Sometimes
it's
like that
_

From Parchment Figures: Doubles, Doppelgängers, Clones


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