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The one about the bird – Melissa Diem

Today we explore “The one about the bird”, a videopoem by Melissa Diem which touches the skin like an electric whisper.

Melissa Diem is one of the most renowned voices in the international videopoetry scene. Born in New York but living in Ireland since she was a child, Melissa is an award-winning poet which has diverse publications. She exhibited videoart throughout Ireland and her videopoems have been selected and screened at plenty of international festivals. As a videopoet, she has a mixed profile, being both poet and filmmaker. She usually leaves Colm Slattery the sound production of her works.

This is one of her most acclaimed videopoems. A contained, delicate atmosphere, a suggesting poem recited in whispers, and a display of images representing life, decrepitude, desire and death accompany a text full of film influences. Nothing best than her words to describe it:

“A poetry film based on the poem ‘the one about the bird’, written by Melissa Diem and filmed in Ireland. It explores the human attraction to horrific events through the medium of film. And the idea of the desire to stop and begin again when a situation, an experience, humanity… seems to have gone so horrendously wrong that is beyond the point of no return and can never be undone.

The poem and the visuals were influenced by a black and whit film (source unknown) in which children stone a wounded bird to death. I saw this clip of film at a young age and the scenes and all they implied were so startling to me that I have never forgotten the images. Other cinematic influences include the film ‘Don’t Look Now’ in which images suddenly surface in a fleeting glimpse like repressed memories shifting through consciousness”.