Distance connection project

I wrote a proposal for a distance contact project with Marten, Kirsty and Barbara to make a short film. See below:

It’s about submitting a short film, or piece of art, or spoken word, about isolation and loneliness. Mainly. Read the brief! It’s paid, a little anyway. 
I thought about us, scattered all over the place, all doing different things post masters and all of course, caught up in this global pandemic. I thought about Kirstys photos of her empty square outside her window, and Marten’s walk through the snow on his way to the gallery (review thing we had to do in Year 3) and Jons poetry, and Barbara’s writing. The thing is the proposal has to be submitted by tomorrow, Friday 17th April. 
I had an idea about taking a piece of poetry, or writing, that has some ideas of isolation and aging in it. Each of us, where we live, would recite the piece of poetry or writing. We each would recite the same one, you would send them to me and I would chop up each person’s recital and make a short film of each of us reciting a few lines. It would not necessarily have to be to camera, possibly just record yourself saying it and send an image you want to be used while your lines are being heard. 
I am going to submit a proposal anyway. If any one of you, or a few of you was up for this we could talk about the logistics of making it after. Making it should not take up too much of your time. 

My Idea for the Film for Aunt Bea project:

What I would like to create for your project is a short film, between 2-3 minutes as suggested in the brief. My film would be about finding both inspiration and acceptance in a period of unrest and isolation.  

Your film is of interest to me because I completed an MA in Fine Arts in 2019; via distance learning with a UK based University. My fellow student cohort was scattered all over the world, and since finishing my studies I have stayed in touch with 3 students in particular, who live in Sweden, Austria and Ohio respectively.

We, this group I just mentioned, were planning a group show later this year, which now of course we do not know will go ahead or not. All our making and discussions take place online and always have done anyway, so this pandemic has not changed how we communicate.  We are all living in urban environments, and have creative practices, either full or part time. We are all of us what could be considered relatively early career, and also in terms of thinking about the brief of managing isolation and dealing with anxiety and loneliness and aging, we fit the bill.

Proposal: We propose to recite piece of poetry or writing, which has connotations of isolation and aging in it. Pieces we have been discussing to recite so far include writings by Patti Smith and Al Jourgensen. Each of us four, from our respective environments, would recite parts of the piece of poetry or writing, and the resulting piece of work would be a short film of four different people in different places around the worlds, reciting a piece of poetry, one after the other. Possibly with some added conversation about the significance of the recital to each individual and how isolation affects their work.

In terms of how it would be filmed, any support or advice here would be welcome.

I hope the above is comprehensive enough to give you an idea of my proposal. I am sorry we have not completely decided on which piece of poetry or writing to use, as we communicate purely online and in different time zones we are always waiting for one of us to surface and respond.

Ben If you wanted to hear more I would be happy to elaborate further, I was conscious of keeping things concise at this stage.

So this was not picked, however in our message group, we have decided to go ahead and make it anyway.

Marten sent:

I don’t know if Al Jourgensen’s writings count as poetry but what spontaneously surfaced in my brain was:

All the locals hide their tears of regret

Open fire ’cause I love you to death

Sky high, with a heartache of stone

You’ll never see me ’cause I’m always alone
How to love without a trace of dissent

I’ll buy the torture ’cause you pay for the rent

Tied high with a broken command

You’re all alone to the promised land

Kirsty sent:

Jitka Hanzlovà’s words: 

“I went to the forest-hills early in the morning when the forest awakes. Standing there I breathe in the wind, the unruffled voices of the birds and the silence which I love. And then when I was concentrating on a picture, I stopped hearing the silence around me.

It was as if I was somewhere else, making a film. The forest started to move and, as I look through the camera, I experienced something, maybe it was just a framing and the stillness of the evening. As if the birds and the crickets had stopped their singing, as if the wind had come to a stop in the valley. Nothing but nothing to hear. No birds, no wind, no people, no crickets.

The darkness of the night and this other silence made my hair stand on end… I could not exactly place the fear, but it was coming from the inside.” P.125-6

Barbara sent: “Let This Darkness Be a Bell Tower” by Rainer Maria Rilke from Sonnets to Orpheus II, 29.

Quiet friend who has come so far,

feel how your breathing makes more space around you.
Let this darkness be a bell tower
and you the bell. As you ring,

what batters you becomes your strength.
Move back and forth into the change.
What is it like, such intensity of pain?
If the drink is bitter, turn yourself to wine.

In this uncontainable night,
be the mystery at the crossroads of your senses,
the meaning discovered there.

And if the world has ceased to hear you,
say to the silent earth: I flow.
To the rushing water, speak: I am.

Each of the above are up for doing the project anyway. My current visual is that it would still comprise of a short film, of each of us saying some lines of a poem/writing. visually this could be looking at the camera, looking away from camera, a shot of a piece of art, or a shot out the window, or someones hands holding something, or someone walkign along holding camera, talking.

We need to 1: decide on the poem. 2; decide who is saying what. possibly best to have each of us say all of it in our own space. 3: collect the footage and edit.

TBC…

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