~ Filmmaker: Chris O’Leary ~

Garden of Reason from Mythistoria by Chris O’Leary

This is the first in a series of five filmpoems, Mythistoria: An Archaeology of Shadows. Chris O’Leary is a fine artist based in Yorkshire, and the video is in my view a masterclass in how to make a filmpoem using still images (without going full kinestasis): the images are striking, utterly lacking in cliche, and are juxtaposed in interesting ways, sometimes illustrating and sometimes contrasting with the text on screen, and the soundtrack—”Erotokritos/Music of Crete” by Ross Daly—pushes the whole thing forward. My only criticism is that some of the longer passages of text fade out a second or two too soon.

Here’s how Chris describes the project on her website:

‘Mythistoria’ is a new body of work in development by Chris O’Leary. It is an Athens based project; Chris is a member of the ‘British School of Archaeology’; an institute for higher academic research and which accommodates post-doctoral and independent research work. ‘Mythistoria’ negotiates ideas of place, myth and history in aspects of classical and contemporary Greek culture. The work addresses the european tradition of women’s travel narratives dating back to the eighteenth century; women who came to Greece and experienced it as travellers, writers,artists and scholars. Such women challenged the prevailing romantic view of the ‘epic Greek journey’ as being a ‘Byronic’ idyll, pursued only by wealthy aristocratic antiquarians. The work, therefore, aims to engage with post-colonial/feminist analysis of Hellenism and Orientalism in relation to both women’s travel writing and the rendering of Greece through the collective imaginary