How to exhibit videopoetry in a bookstore: Swoon’s “Gathering Light” exhibition

video screens scattered through a wall of books

Here’s a kind of poetry-film screening that ought to be more common than it is. I’d been following the Facebook event page with much interest (and not a little regret that I can’t be there), but since I don’t know Dutch, I’m grateful that Marc Neys A.K.A. Swoon has put up a short blog post, complete with pictures. I lifted a couple for this post, but do click through and look at the rest, because Marc et al. appear to have implemented this really well:

The cultural centre of my hometown (Mechelen) asked me if I was interested in a solo exhibition with my video’s.

Yes.

I asked my favourite bookstore if we could set up the exhibition in their store. Putting up different screens in between and on top of books.

Yes.

After a few days of setting everything up (a big thank you to the technical team of CC Mechelen), we opened ‘Gathering Light’ last week (on my birthday, talk about a present)

No more than 20 screens (of different size and age) spread out over this fine store. A selection of what I’ve been making over the last 5 years.

a woman watches a poetry video in a bookstore

If you’re thinking of making the trip, March 6 might be a good day to visit:

The exhibition runs until march 8 and we’ll end with a finissage dressed up as a showcase on videopoetry with live readings in ‘De Kapel van Contour’ on march 6 (more on that later)

Dave is the founder of Moving Poems, and posts videos for his own poems (along with lots of other stuff) at Via Negativa. Here's a bio.

3 Comments

  1. This is so cool! I wish we could do it here. We had something similar at our local art museum, but not nearly so elaborate. Great idea, Marc, as usual!

  2. The choice of location is brilliant, not just because it’s a very fine bookstore (I’ve been there), but also because, in contrast to a normal exhibition space, it’s kind of reminiscent of the web—the environment where most of these films were first shared, and where Mark found so much of the material in them. Which is to say it’s colorful, literary, and mingles commercial and social activity with reading and contemplation.

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