Yannis Kyriakides – Narratives 1: Dreams


unsounds, DVD, 29U

The use of text in short films is seen in many genres, including silent movies (obviously), experimental cinema and visual poetry. Kyriakides’ approach to this field has been described as “music text films”, which comprise of bold uppercase letters and some small thin strips of looped movie samples. The text is juxtaposed, appearing in both readable and non-readable forms within animations and remaining the most important element. Going back in time, during late 90s and early 00s Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries net art pieces also tried to tell stories through pure text animation. But they were supposed to be “created” through software, while here the visual text is considered a visual medium like any other. The unfolding of text is based on the rhythms of reading. Here the balance between listening and reading is absolutely personal and the relationship between the music and the words displayed is anything but obvious. The texts are not randomly chosen, however: the three pieces are about blind people’s dreams (“Dreams of the Blind”), a weird dream described by Oulipo member Georges Perec (“The Arrest”), and some excerpts from the writings of the ancient Roman philosopher Lucretius (“The Lucretian Picnic”). They “sound together” as Kyriakides explains, “while one alternately opposes the other.” Maybe they gently clash in between, stimulating our senses to cooperate and generate new (or expand old) meanings.


Subliminal: The Lucretian Picnic by Yannis Kyriakides (2003) performed by the ASKO Ensemble