River of Light – TRT 4:19 mins
Concept, camera, editing & Music: Swoon
Film by Swoon for the poem ‘River of Light’ by Paul Perry Poem & Voice: Paul Perry ‘River of Light’ appears in Paul’s first book, The Drowning of the Saints, (2003), and which will also appear in Gunpowder Valentine: New and Selected, the Dedalus Press, 2014. The poem is also a poem on the Leaving Certificate in Ireland from 2015. This poem creeps up to you. It’s almost like a dry recapitulation of a daily newspaper article. And then it hits you, full force, in the stomach.
It needed very simple images to juxtapose with the content of the poem; fragile, yet powerful. Light, yet disturbed. The same goes for the soundtrack; dark undertones, ominous breathing against high fleeting notes. The production itself was very much like the carcrash in the poem; fast, dirty and cheap. Shot in less than an hour with a cheap DSLR. You get a voyeuristic feeling through the movement.
Videopoetry is a genre of poetry displayed on a screen, distinguished by its time-based, poetic juxtaposition of images with text and sound. In the measured blending of these three elements, it produces in the viewer the realization of a poetic experience. Presented as a multimedia object of a fixed duration, the principal function of a videopoem is to demonstrate the process of thought and the simultaneity of experience, expressed in words – visible and/or audible – whose meaning is blended with, but not illustrated by, the images and the soundtrack. (Tom Konyves)
Swoon (AKA Marc Neys) (°1968, Essen, Belgium) is a video-artist / soundscape-constructor. “His work is provocative, beautiful and disturbing. Using words as guidelines, Marc Neys creates video and soundscapes using a blend of layered images.
His work is instantly recognizable for the skill with which he extracts new meaning from the words he illuminates. Image, sound, voice combine seamlessly to create something fresh, and often startling in Swoon’s work. His works have been featured at film festivals all over the world.” (Erica Goss)
“The work of Swoon transports us to a state of attention and reverie at the same time, and then sends us each on our own inner investigations. Meditations on Nature, Time, Art, the human condition, and the spiritual cost of modernity – these are some of the dizzy heights that Swoon’s audiovisual essays explore.” (Yahia Lababidi)
Poet Paul Perry was born in Dublin in 1972. He has won the Hennessy New Irish Writer of the Year Award and The Listowel Prize for Poetry and has been a James Michener Fellow of Creative Writing at The University of Miami, and a Cambor Fellow of Poetry at The University of Houston.
Paul Perry’s poems often possess a confessional delicacy and apparent simplicity that is rare among Irish male poets. From the publication of his first collection The Drowning of the Saints in 2003 his work has been noted for its dream-like magic and its ‘sense of longing, searching, and questioning’. Of that acclaimed début Fred D’Aguiar writes: ‘Each poem bristles with life and longing, intelligence and wit.’