Caught by the River

Embracing the Pretty Because: Lines for Megan Boyd

19th April 2014

An edit of an essay by Gareth Evans that accompanies the DVD release of Kiss The Water a film by Eric Steel.

Up the river

An obituary can be shrapnel in the consciousness. It lodges there and works its way further into mind.

When pre-occupations become an occupation; a vocation… How many years at the end of a road, working the feathers towards art. At the core of a life there sometimes occurs a great silence that can never be broken; to paraphrase, everyone is unknowable, but some are more unknowable than others.

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You can read the river far more easily than another human being; for any chance of learning, cast your line into unexpected pools, into ignored angles of flow, questions that can’t be answered: why do salmon take the fly? Why did she take the fly? A film whose alertness to, and pleasure in the arts of the everyday, in a song of experience and innocence – found in attending to the uncorrupted registers of the overlooked – will thrive beyond its calendar of production and release; a film whose wisdom is never sourced from the same river twice. One might say that it deserves to enjoy a ‘long tail.’

In the star-fecund night, a wind in the tide, you might find yourself calling out of an open window into a darkness so dense that not even a salmon could work its will quite through it; trawling for a measure to the searching of your heart. What is this living for? Ah, answering that might bring the fishing men and women running down the simple track at dawn…

There is no such thing as waste: only matter that has not been properly cared for.

Priority is not the opposite of distraction. Rather, it is the result of being effectively distracted.

If we are lucky we make our own meaning with our own hands. Yet we might never know, in the end, what it really is that we craft. Write then – in voice and image, dream and animation – a letter of kindred affections, a praise song, not so much a prayer as a secular hymn to this manual shaping of the real and to the colours of its imagination, hues and shades evident of course in the phenomenal world, in every turn of the natural.

They say kiss the water, and yet, in that momentary meeting, you also kiss all that the water is; alchemies of cobalt and gold, the lens a fish eye just beneath the surface.

over under

Gareth Evans is a writer, editor, producer and presenter. He is Film Curator at the Whitechapel Gallery, London.

A review of Kiss The Water, by Rob St. John appeared on Caught by the River on 16 July, 2013.

Kiss The Water is available to buy from the Caught by the River Shop here, at the special price of £15