Evo Preisner - A moment at 44

1:17, 2011, Video Art
A self portrait at 44: to try to grab a moment in time, to silence oneself from words, images and sound.
DirectorEvo Preisner (a.k.a. Roelof Broekman)WriterEvo PreisnerCameraEvo PreisnerEditorEvo PreisnerCrewMusic composed by Evo Preisner


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Who is Evo Preisner?

Roelof Broekman makes video art under the name of Evo Preisner.
I am a composer (I worked for the VPRO, documentaries and all kinds of projects) and a poet (published poetry in the Netherlands, Belgium and the UK). I wrote a poetry book called ’Azotum’. I also wrote a short story ’Boventonen’ and a novel ’In the Waitman’.

What is A moment at 44 about?

A self portrait at the age of 44. It is a moment in time. It reveals images of myself, memories of the past, and words. It all seems to disappear into an unknown cell of space, almost religious.

How did you start with film? And do you have an educational background in art or film?

I am a composer and a poet. That is basically the background from where I started to make video art.
When I bought a XLR camera, I immediately knew what I wanted for my music, and how that should look like. I worked at it with full discipline: learning pro edit software for video, reading every page of the camera manual, talking with pro camera man, learning, accepting camera jobs, reading thousands of pages about video artists and it’s history, filming as much as I could, working, trying, failing and…

Could you explain how you work, what themes or concepts you use and what is important to you?

The way in which I produce my video work differs from the traditional way of putting music to words, or writing words for a piece of music, or composing music for a short film. There is no copy and paste in that sense.
At the start of a project, there is not a complete poem, or a finished piece of music or a complete film. It (the end result) develops out of different fragments (solely made by me) which find their genesis in the process of the work or an initially idea. In other words: while I’m at work.
So all these different parts arise out of the process. Therefore I work alone: to be able to concentrate in a way similar to that of a writer when he writes a book or a poem. During the writing process, new ideas and complications evolve that you have to deal with. That’s how I want to achieve the result for these videos: pieces made out of visuals, words and sound coming out of the same cell of space, out of a single thinking, into a single duration.
The music, words and visuals can’t be separated: you end up with broken pieces. There is not enough music for a complete composition, not enough words for a poem, not enough visuals for a film: there is only the video with all these forms interweaving, that can be absorbed as a coherent object that can be considered done.
There are constantly ‘black holes’ in my work to underline the independence of each form: absence of an image, absence of sound, absence of words. The visuals can appear in silence, the music can be heard while there is a black screen, words can pop up when there is no music etc. Etc. But they follow each other almost effortless because they are still part of the same trajectory. This tension between loosing objects and interweaving objects is essential in finding the right balance in order to achieve one cell of space.

How long do you usually work on one project?

It differs because I spread it out over a period in time. That is important to rightly reflect on your work. I can be very anxious to work fast, but then I have to go back later to better ’oversee’ the whole picture and concept.
But in 2011, I made 7 videos, ranging in work between a week to 3 weeks.

Do you carefully plan the production process or do you work more intuitive?

I only plan the shooting process. Most of the time I know what I want. But as soon as I start ’composing’ behind my computer it all becomes intuitive. I start to constantly shift between the compositional part and the image part. Words pop up in the process, new images, new ideas. I need to work strictly alone, in full concentration, undisturbed, like a writer. That’s how I work.

How does the title relate to the work, and how do you find a fitting title?

That’s a cerebral process that comes along in the making. I don’t have control over it as much as I would want to have.

Where do you get your ideas or inspiration from?

The genesis of a project: written words, a musical sequence or shot footage. Then I start to build the video.

How important is sound in film, and if you use sounds, do you create your own or use existing?

All sounds and music are composed by me.
The absence of sound can be as important too!
It’s a topic that interests me: I do not like when artists use stock music. I think you should be able to make the complete piece of art yourself. I make video art solely by myself, like a sculptor or a writer.

How does content relate to the form of your work?


Did the web changed your view on art, or your career?

Computers and software did in the first place. Then the web. My videos are now played in Italy, Germany, Denmark and India. Thanks to the web. My translated poems are now published in the UK. Thanks to the web. Wonderful!
I think for sure that the level of created video art has exploded right now. I never liked the video art from the past. But these days, with the equipment we have, and the possibilities for exposure around the globe, video art becomes a serious part of the art world.

Where would you place your work; cinema or art. And what is the difference between those according to you?

I make video art.
Video-art undermines conventional cinema-tactics for it’s primary goal: the manifestation of an idea (the artists work) through moving pictures.
Conventional cinema tells a story. It’s the equivalent of a novel: like a road with signs. It’s linear in it’s logical presentation.
Video-art shows ideas. It’s the equivalent of poetry: like signs without a road. It’s spatial. The linear presentation is a list: it forces a concentration, but needs no specific clues about points in time.

How influential is the reaction to your film by the audience?

Not. But it is made for them. I hope they do enjoy what they see. I think an audience that seriously watches your stuff deserves to see the art that is the best that you can make. But I will never let me guide by the taste of others: I think that is essential if you want to make art, otherwise you should be doing funny commercials.

What is your next project about?

Metropolis: a young girl doing ballet on a big stage in a big hall. The music will be a combination of electrical guitar noise and a modern composition which I already finished. It will be black and white. (but all this can change in the process)

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