Misery

Misery
click on the image to view the video

Creators

Marie Craven, film-maker, Australia
Sarah Sloat, writer/artist, Germany

Synopsis

Words from the pages of Stephen King's novel, Misery, are erased and otherwise transformed to become poetry. Images found in the collective unconscious of high-to-low culture, are snipped and pasted into the newly emergent page-poems. The resulting visual poetry pieces are further edited and given motion, to arrive at this videopoem.

Text

MISERY
original visual poetry by Sarah Sloat
remixed poem in video by Marie Craven


memory: an axe coming down

he threw back
his head and
a variety of
strange and poisonous
flowers grew

my mind
was like being dead
everything shrank away

the
deepening
taint

hell
subside a little

o
maddening
serene thing
in a previous life
such a rain began to fall

Marie Craven on the project

Sarah Sloat creates visual art that is also poetry. She does this by using various techniques to 'erase' most of the words from pages of Stephen King's novel, Misery. Her 'erasures' leave only scattered words around the page, forming small poems. To these, she adds 'found images', related to the poems in freely associative ways. The Misery video combines a number of Sarah's visual poetry pieces, and animates them for the screen. This gives rise to a fragmented narrative, or new poem, from the juxtaposition of the selected pieces. The video focuses strongly on the image components of Sarah's Misery pages, and creates a new form for them. Rather than a simple presentation of Sarah's visual poetry, the video is an audio-visual response to the inspiration of them.

Marie Craven
Marie Craven

Sarah Sloat
Sarah Sloat

Screenings

Athens International Poetry Film Festival, Greece, 14 December 2018

Southern California Poetry Festival, USA, 17 November 2018

Publications

Moving Poems, USA, 9 July 2018

Bios

Marie Craven has made short experimental and narrative films for over 30 years. She discovered the videopoetry genre by chance in 2014. Since then she has released more than 60 videos in this form. Her work involves assemblage of poetry, music, voice, stills and moving images by various artists around the world. Created mostly via the internet, the videos are collaborative in essence. Over the past few years, a large number of them have screened at world festivals and events dedicated to poetry and video. Her earliest involvement in media was in the mid-1980s with super 8 film-making in Melbourne, Australia.

Sarah Sloat was born in the sixties in New Jersey, USA. She spent her early years as a sinophile, reading Pearl S. Buck books and Chinese poetry and watching David Carradine do Kung Fu. Sarah has worked as a NOW canvasser, a dog sitter, English teacher, temporary secretary, reader for the blind, professor and reporter. She now divides her time between Germany and Spain, where she works in news. A book of her visual poetry will be published next year by Sarabande books.

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For their contributions, advice and assistance, thanks to:
Ari Raijas, Bronwen Manger, Caroline Rumley, Dave Bonta, Eduardo Yagüe, Fiona Tinwei Lam, Helen Dewbery, Jane Glennie, Karen Dawson, Lori Ersolmaz, Lucia Sellars, Lucy English, Maria Vella, Martin Kelly, Matt Hetherington, Matt Mullins, Mike Hoolboom, Nigel Wells, Pam Falkenberg, R.W. Perkins, Sanket Shrestha, the film-makers, writers and their collaborators.