Published : I Stand Alone by The Devils, and other poems on films

I Stand Alone by The Devils, and other poems on films
Broken Sleep Books : 33 pages : £5
www.stevenjfowler.com/istandalone
www.brokensleepbooks.com/product-page/sj-fowler-i-stand-alone-by-the-devils-and-other-poems-on-films

A book, though lean, I have been working on for years. It’s been a pleasure to bring it into life with Aaron Kent, editor of Broken Sleep. From the publisher = "26 new poems celebrating 26 cult films of the 20th and 21st century, I Stand Alone by The Devils is a slim volume of cinematic poetic ekphrasis. At play is an aberrant intersemiotic translation between the mediums of popular or arthouse cinema and contemporary, modernist poetry. The poems aim to re-imagine moving image in language, often cutting in tone, taking on the dark, symbolic and sardonic on film. Each poem is a single film, interpreting, reflecting, embodying and transposing, exploring both films familiar to many, and digging out, often from 20th century European cinema, more unorthodox motion pictures. From Querelle and The Baby of Mâcon, to American Werewolf in London and Don’t Look Now. From Aguirre and Festen to The Fly and Breaking the Waves, these poems are a strange and playful musing on cinema’s impact on poetry and language and a useless thinking through of how films are actually consumed."

A full list of films featured - Angel Heart, Querelle, Last Year at Marienbad, Ali : Fear Eats The Soul, The Fly, The Devils, Breaking the Waves, American Werewolf in London, Don’t Look Now, I Stand Alone, A short film about Love, En Coeur En Hiver, The Baby of Mâcon, Nightwatch (Nattevagten), Silence of the Lambs, Satan’s Brew, Aguirre, wrath of god, The Long Good Friday, Stalker, Salo, Festen, Three Colours Blue, Yojimbo, Possession, Beau Travail, M.

LAUNCH : August Thursday 29th 2019 at the Cinema Museum, London, alongside a screening of Peter Greenaway’s The Baby of Mâcon
http://www.cinemamuseum.org.uk/
7pm doors for 7.30pm entry. £8 (£5 concessions)
Readings, featuring Jonathan Catherall, Yvonne Litschel, Chris Kerr, David Spittle and more, alongside SJ Fowler, will mark this unique celebration of cinematic poetry, before a screening ofThe Baby of Mâcon, Peter Greenaway’s remarkable and challening 1993 film. More details to come soon.

A note on: a film by Emanuella Amichai translating my poem

Emanuella is an amazing film maker and artist who I’ve had the pleasure to correspond with for years. She made a film of my poetic sequence - Meditations on Strong Tea - which was in my 2014 Rottweiler’s guide to the Down Owner book, and written for tom and val raworth. It’s a beautiful example of abstract intermedia translation, a removed but potent form of collaboration. Her work is wonderful, worth seeking her out.

A note on: WormWood film collaboration with Tereza Stehlikova continues

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after a beautiful summer in kensal green cemetery in 2017, tereza stehlikova and i have continued collaborating on our overall longterm project - a film that explores the hidden corners of industrial west london and its oncoming disappearance beneath the old oak development thing. we've been shooting extended scenes in certain locales on the grand union canal and ive been writing texts. the new films, chapters, will be screened later in the year, as the first was at the garden museum and other venues over the last 12 months. http://terezast.com/

Willesden Junction is the same. Goodbye ozone layer.
One bridge, a concentration on small vanishing places.
An example is the bridge over the canal, the grand union canal. that leads to the hythe road estate. they have 300 cctv cameras roaming, 24 hours a day.
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A note on : South of the River conference at Greenwich University

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Thanks to Emily Critchley I got to premiere one of my new films made with Joshua Alexander (the animal series about london and menace - this one was Canalimal about the grand union canal around willesden junction and its soon disappearance at the hands of an ugly development) at the Uni of Greenwich for a conference entitled South of the River.

It was a lovely long afternoon with peers i respect in a little troupe - amy cutler, tom chivers, edmund hardy - speaking to each other and academics about south london. I admitted i had something against south london, half joking, and its a place that hasnt featured too much in my 11 years of walking miles upon miles of london streets. I learned a lot from everyone else through the day, it was communal and generous.

A note on: footage from Milosz festival with Tom Jenks & Weronika Lewandowska

Beautiful to have this footage from a great collaboration in Krakow this past June. Performance art, video art, poetry, theatre, it was a grand pleasure making the work with Tom and Weronika. For more info www.stevenjfowler.com/krakow

Exhibited: Manners Maketh Man, my commission for Graz Forumstadtpark Glory Hole series

So happy to have been commissioned by the amazing pioneering Forumstadtpark in Austria, curated by the equally groundbreaking Max Hofler, to produce a videotext work, part of their Glory Hole series. This series has been going for years and involves a video with text projected against the side of the Forumstadtpark itself, blown up like a bat signal, in the middle of a huge, beautiful park in the middle of the city. Loads of people see it, and for my work, which runs throughout April, this is true as its being screened while a film festival goes on. Really i had fun making it too, they promote my kind of work. You can see all the glory hole commissions here : https://vimeo.com/forumstadtparkgraz, some great ones, and my edition, the 31st, below

A note on: collaborating with Tereza Stehlikova on a film about Willesden Junction

For nearly a year I've had the pleasure to collaborate with the artist Tereza Stehlikova, who works in moving image. Our collaboration is about an area of London where we both live, in separate ends, enclosing, one of the few spaces I've really felt as home. Willesden Junction, Wormwood Scrubs, the Grand Union Canal, Kensal Green cemetery... And so far, all we have done is talk, allow the exchange of ideas to be as it should be, exploratory in friendship as well as ideas.

We recently began shooting the film, urged into action because of the plans to completely redevelopment this brilliant, beautiful, industrial, rarely-visited part of London. The Old Oak Development will be one of the biggest in the cities modern history, thousands of new flats, and people. What we are witnessing, the places I walk everyday, will disappear forever.

Here's Tereza's post on our beginning https://cinestheticfeasts.wordpress.com/2016/03/31/nw10/

A note on: The Frontline Club, a World without Words IV - November 13th 2015

A really resonant and powerful evening at the Frontline Club. The highlight of what has been a wonderful journey so far, curating www.aworldwithoutwords.com with Lotje Sodderland and Thomas Duggan. During this night It became clear to me what this project was really about, there was a sense of clarity and the brilliant Professor Barry Smith and I both came across it in our discussions before the event. It is about will. A will to life, an affirmation of the continency of language, on life, and how Lotje represents to me, in the most deferent, humble, inciteful and beautiful manner, a pure engagement with being alive. And so through her presence, the lynchpin of the project, so my work, the films of Vincent Moon and insightful thoughts Barry himself shared, to a sold out room of over 100 people, became about that - a celebration or affirmation of life and language. An amazing chance for me to be associated with an institution I have been going for many many years too. Such a privilege, a very special and dear evening to me.

 

From Sufi rituals in Chechnya, to ancient folk songs in Columbian’s pacific rainforest, we experienced how the brain ascribes meaning to music and sound - even when words are obsolete through a selection of Vincent Moon’s short observational documentaries — shot around the world and capturing local folklore and diverse musical rituals. They were screened in alternation with an informal discussion by the director of London’s Institute of Philosophy Dr Barry Smith, who explored the neural correlates of meaning, music, and language in the context of each film, to offer the audience an explanation of the role of language in subjective mental life.

Reading American poets at the Whitechapel gallery with Chris McCabe amidst American cinema

This was a really lovely evening, expertly curated by the generous and eloquent Gareth Evans, putting myself and Chris McCabe into a program of some amazing contemporary American experimental cinema, reading American poets. The Whitechapel is always a good place to read, but to have cinema sit up close with poetry, and to be reading work like O'Hara and Starr Hamilton made it feel completely new to me. A very generous feeling between the filmmakers and film curator Jamie Wyld and us too, this is the kind of thing I'm always happy to be doing. 

Stateland: reading Feb 12th at the Whitechapel Gallery

So pleased to be reading some American poetry to tie in with this remarkable screening of contemporary American artist filmmaking. I'll be reading alongside Chris McCabe on the kind invitation of curator and poet Gareth Evans, smashing out some O'Hara & more.
http://www.whitechapelgallery.org/events/stateland-american-artists-filmmaking-now/

Screening some of the most creative and groundbreaking artist-filmmakers from the US; including Laida Lertxundi, Luciano Piazza and Ben Russell plus live poetry readings by Steven J Fowler and Chris McCabe. Curated by Jamie Wyld for Videoclub.

Thursday 12 February, 7 - 9pm Zilkha Auditorium

Animal Drum : a cinepoem collaboration with Joshua Alexander

ANIMAL DRUM from Josh Alexander on Vimeo.
JOSHUA ALEXANDER & SJ FOWLER

ANIMAL DRUM is a short, conceptual poetic film about disease, menial work and the remnants of the British Empire. It was born out of a collaboration between two fellow and former employees of a major British Museum institution, and draws on shared experiences of the potential, and actual, vapidity of assumptions of improvement and beneficial pedagogy in such institutions, as well as shared negative experiences of a vast, global tourist deluge. In that sense, the film was born mutually, conceived by the two artists at the same time, and created without much dialogue yet with a certain sense of synchronicity.
Animal Drum calls on the miserabalist, absurdist traditions of post-war European avant garde theatre and poetry. By employing the red herring of the Comedia Dell Arte ‘plague doctor’ mask, as a juxtaposition to the glossed over friendliness of a contemporary ‘happy’ urban landscape it invokes deliberate absurdity in its visuals as well as its text. It is London shot, environment specific and includes performance footage from the Science Museum late where SJ Fowler was invited to create a new work in response to the Exponential Horn installation.
Animal Drum is the first in a series of films that explore the sad, macabre, abstract threat of contemporary London culture and psychological geography.

Auld Enemies: a documentary on poetry, touring, Scotland & collaboration

What this means to me, Ross Sutherland's generous, technically excellent and warm hearted documentary of our Auld Enemies tour of Scotland, is quite significant. It's the most apt testament to what we did, in it's humour and flow and deference, and its so rare to have something concrete, something that will last, that somehow captures one of these poetry things I've been experiencing in the last year. So many times, like with my visits to Iraq, Mexico, Denmark, Venice etc.. in the last year, the experience feels so intense, so wonderful at the time that I know I'll remember it so fondly, and it'll be so significant to me, and yet there is only the work itself and the memory left. Which is a good thing. Yet when I confront this documentary, see what it stands for, for me, I am left feeling very grateful, very humbled that I might get to relive something very special, in the years to come, through it's being watched. 

The Cinepoem Project - Nov 22nd at the Rich Mix

the Cinepoem project
Thursday November 22nd 2012 from 7.30
the Richmix arts centre, the main space
Bethnal Green road, E1 6LA 020 7613 7498Free entrance for all

Tom Raworth & Avi Dabach
Emanuella Amichai & SJ Fowler
Tim Atkins & Ran Slavin

A ground breaking collaborative exchange between three Israeli film-makers / video artists and three British poets, translating the medium of poetry into the practise of film to produce three original, poetic films, or cinepoems. http://www.richmix.org.uk/whats-on/event/cinepoem/

The aim of the project is to transform the auspices of a selected, single poem into short, conceptual films, that will be screened on November 22nd in London, at the Richmix Arts centre. The event will also feature poetry readings from Tom Raworth, Tim Atkins and SJ Fowler, and a panel discussion exploring the unique nature of poetic / filmic collaboration and the potentiality of poetry as a medium adaptable to film.


The project is designed to show that the potential for poetry to be realised in the narrative of film and film-making may lay the path for a wide future between these mediums, enriching them both in the process. This is the first instalment of the Enemies project, a year long exploration of poetry and collaboration, curated by SJ Fowler, supported by the Jerwood Charitable Foundation.

Programme of events:
A poetry reading by the poets: SJ Fowler, Tom Raworth, Tim Atkins.
- Ran Slavin will introduce a film based on Tim Atkins' poem: ODES I / 32+ODES II /3
- Avi Dabach will introduce a short film based on Tom Raworth’s poem "TAXOMONY"
- Emanuella Amichai will introduce a short film based on SJ Fowler's poem :"38 meditations on strong tea"
A panel discussion exploring the unique nature of poetic / filmic collaboration