framing poetry

framing poetry

“When I read Walter’s poem, I felt this very strong sense of nostalgia,” says Yeoseop Yoon, director of Lamentations of Old Wala short film created for the State Library of Victoria’s mirror exhibition.

Talking about the theme of mirrors, Yeoseop says, “I thought a lot about the idea of ​​reflections, and it really came down to one sentence, ‘Without reflection, can there be desire?

“Can you yearn for something when there’s really nothing to reflect on.”

Walter Kadiki is a poet who creates his art at the intersection of signed poetry and poetic performance. He has performed his signed poetry at the Melbourne Fringe Festival, Melbourne 2005 Deaflympics – Celebration of a Possibility screening, Canberra Parliament and various events across Australia.

Yoon, Kadiki, Dinusha Ratnaweera (producer) and Jani Hakli (cinematographer) embarked on a journey to create a visual representation of Walter’s poem, Lamentations of Old Wal. The film will be featured in the Mirror: New Views on Photography exhibition, which features over 140 photographs from the state collection, along with creative responses from emerging and established Victorian storytellers, who tell compelling stories of Victoria through a contemporary lens.

Lamentations of Old Wal combines all the elements of cinematic language to create a feeling of nostalgia. The cinematography, directed by Jani Hakli, uses expired 35mm film stock to achieve a unique look that is both evocative and nostalgic.

“We don’t like talking on Zoom,” Hakli says of his partnership with Yoon. “We like to sit and look at still images or anything else that reflects the work. With this one, because we’re filming one person, it became a lot about framing.

A key element that became a centerpiece of the visual aesthetic was the house the crew filmed in.

“I had seen this house before and seen photos of our scouts. But it’s always different when a location scout takes a picture compared to when a director or cinematographer takes a picture,” Hakli explains. “He [Yeoseop] immediately saw things differently.

“I was literally a kid in a candy store,” Yeoseop recalled. “I walked into the house and there’s this peeling paint and the light hitting it just right. There was this feeling of nostalgia that was perfect when we explored thoughts and desire.

For Yoon, this is not the first time he has worked with Kadiki. Their first collaboration was on a film called Walk along is what I must.

“I’ve wanted to do video work that incorporates poetry for a long time,” Yoon shares. “I searched for poets online and came across a video of Walter on Youtube. It wasn’t cinematic at all, just a recording of his performance, but I was inspired so I booked a ticket for Melbourne and I filmed a little video.

“When we first met, he came with a legal contract because he didn’t know who I was,” Yoon laughs.

Mirror: New Views on Photography is on view until the 28the January 2024 at the State Library of Victoria

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