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  • Ryan Ormonde

(PREMIERE) Hyperpastoral by Ryan Ormonde and Mădălina Zaharia

SPAM Plaza is delighted to premiere a new filmic rendition of Ryan Ormonde's poem "Hyperpastoral", first featured in SPAM001, the debut of our online magazine.


To my locked-down delight, Hyperpastoral first appeared as a poem in SPAM001, published in November 2020. Thanks, Spam! As well as a barely-defined ('True Poems flee' - Emily Dickinson) notion of the 'hyperpastoral', the poem seems to turn on the line 'There must be somewhere to unburden'. Could that 'somewhere' be a household bath? Was there a tale of a tub hiding between those lines? Meanwhile, I'd had the visual combination of camo-print, houseplants and rain in my subconscious for some time. To translate Hyperpastoral from poetry to DIY film, I released this image-complex in the form of a simple, perversely domestic performance, tangentially related to the poem (water, nature, body...) and I asked my friend, artist-filmmaker Mădălina Zaharia, to film it on a phone in one take. Towards the end of my performance, Mădă made the artistic decision to zoom in on my bum, hands and face. Then, while editing the film to fit the pre-recorded reading, Mădă experimented by creating additional close-ups using the editing software and chose a spectral (both senses?) effect to work with/against the crude quality of those transitions. The open captions were always intended to be an indivisible element of the film and Mădă reliably found an appropriate aesthetic for them. You could say it was Mădă's choices that put the 'hyper' into 'hyperpastoral'. Thanks too, to our houseplant collaborators!

Ryan Ormonde


Read 'Hyperpastoral' and the rest of SPAM001 here.


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