How Elemental Dialogues evolved

Second Nature 3

Anna Cady  Film Maker, Director and Curator of Elemental Dialogues

In October 2013, in response to a call to submit work for Creative Collisions: 10 Days Winchester, I proposed a project based around my research on interpretation and translation; with Brian Evans-Jones joining me as curator of poetry.  Two short films which I had already made: Present States (2012) with the dancer Suna Imre and Dowry (2009) with visual artist Saira Ahmed, would be subjected to interpretation by musicians, sound artists and poets.

Suna and Saira had come to me with strong ideas of what they wanted to convey through the medium of film. Allowing me to present the films to artists from other disciplines for interpretation, as an experiment, was extremely generous. With their agreement, and in order that the films could be interpreted freely, I deleted the audio and the titles; renaming them simply Earth and Fire before sending them out to poets and musicians.

Click on image above to view Earth 3; with award winning music by Tricia Mann and poetry by Joan McGavin and Deborah Alma.

Without titles and audio how much of the original ‘point of view’ would be evident after interpretation or would the point of view of subsequent artists nullify the original intent? With whose voice would the film now speak? I proposed to repeatedly represent the films – each time with different music, sounds and poetry in order to investigate the viewer’s reading of meaning and intention.

Click on the image below to watch Fire 1 with Claire Hillier’s award winning poem, ‘Sestina’ and Joss Albert’s music written in response to her words…

Fire still 1

I became interested to investigate the different meanings inherent in the words interpret, and translate. On this site the poets and musicians taking part in Elemental Dialogues have shared their thoughts and experiences of interpreting, responding, being inspired by …

I have been overwhelmed by the new resonances the audio has given the films. The films have not been interpreted or translated – they have been transformed, again and again.

The promenade performance at the Courtyard Gallery in Winchester involved all the original artists (Saira projecting, Anna directing, Suna dancing  with Gabriel Galvez and Melanie Rose performance drawing onto the projection itself. We filmed and recorded that event and Anna has collaged it back into the films to make the final interpretations.

Click on the image below to watch a short excerpt 

At the same time that I was developing Elemental Dialogues I was invited by Jenny Chamarette and Ricarda Vidal (Kings and Queen Mary Colleges, University of London) to participate in Translation Games. For Translation Games I made a film, Water, which was an attempt to create a direct  translation of a short piece of flash fiction called ‘What we Made’ . That film can be seen on this site and at Translation Games  where you can also read the original text and subsequent translations through other disciplines.