MEMPHIS, Tenn.—Memphis College of Art welcomes visual poet Tom Konyves from British Columbia as part of the college’s ongoing Visiting Artist Lecture Series. Konyves’ presentation will take place on Thursday, Feb. 14, at 7:30 p.m. in the Callicott Auditorium (Rust Hall, Overton Park). The event is free and open to the public.
Based in Montreal until 1983, Konyves is one of the original seven poets dubbed The Vehicule Poets. His work is distinguished by Dadaist/Surrealist/experimental writings, performance works and “videopoems.” In 1978, he coined the term “videopoetry” to describe his multimedia work and is considered to be one of the original pioneers of the form. He also is the author of the newly released Videopoetry: A Manifesto. Between 1983 and 2006, he was executive producer of AM Productions, producing numerous documentaries and music videos, as well as other commercial multimedia productions.
“A videopoem is a visual expression of a poetic experience rendered in time. Three elements or forms of expression are fused together to create these works: text, image and sound. In my work, it‘s the title which first reveals itself to me—a phrase caught in the web of my thoughts, a painted sign on a fencepost, a suggestive line torn from a page of a newspaper, an overheard remark,” wrote Konyves in a statement. “Once the title has settled, imagery and sound present themselves as the canvas to the painter, the appendage to the sculptor, the costume to the dancer and the props to the playwright. In the editing process, the videopoem comes alive; text, image and sound are juxtaposed in judicious measure, without illustration. While text is the essential element or raw material of a videopoem—implying a differentiation from the ‘poetic film,’ which relies, almost exclusively, on the visual treatment—the poetry here is the result of the juxtaposed, blended use of text with imagery and sound.”
Konyves has initiated many public poetry projects, including Poesie En Mouvement/Poetry On The Buses (Montreal, 1979); Performance Art in Quebec, a six-hour TV series (Cable TV, 1980); Montreal’s first Concrete Poetry Exhibition (Vehicule Art, 1980); and The Great Canadian Poetry Machine (Vancouver, Expo 86). Konyves also curated the screenings of videopoems at the Text Festival (Bury, England, 2010), and has given numerous poetry performances.
Since 2006, he has been teaching screenwriting, video production, journalism and creative visual writing courses at the University of the Fraser Valley in Abbotsford, British Columbia. More info on Konyves’ work can be found at www.tomkonyves.com.