Since 2010, the Youth Cultural Centre Maribor (MKC) has produced 40 short video works as part of the Videopoezija MKC Črke programme. These works are an artistic fusion of contemporary Slovenian poetry by authors of the younger generation (and occasionally also by foreign poets) with various creative genres, including computer animation, video, film, and visual art, contributed by artists from diverse backgrounds. The resulting works are enriched with original sounds or musical accompaniment.
Videopoetry as a medium is incredibly captivating to audiences because it fits the mould of the most popular way of contemporary storytelling – that is, storytelling through audio-visual elements and creative use of digital media and technologies. It is important to emphasise that videopoetry does not merely illustrate a poem with music, sound, and imagery, but it creates a new meaning and a new form through the harmonious interplay of various media. This kind of contemporary storytelling easily and increasingly departs from language, the means by which our ancestors shared their stories. However, the creators behind Videopoezije MKC Črke clearly recognize the expressive potential of language, which is why the text of the song remains an integral presence, whether in the form of a transcript, subtitles, or in audio form.
The prominence and influence of videopoetry within the Slovenian art scene over the past decade and a half can largely be attributed to video artist Jože Slaček (the former long-time artistic director of the MFRU festival) and author-producer Petra Kolmančič. Notably, Maribor as a city has certainly solidified its position on the videopoetry landscape. Maribor boasts the highest number of poetry productions in Slovenia (Naključje 7 – 14 productions, MKC Maribor – more than 40 productions, Cultural and Artistic Association (KUD) Pranger and Pesniški turnir – more than 40 productions, and the Vizir award for the best poetry video). As an artistic and production duo, Jože Slaček and Petra Kolmančič have frequently revealed to the public new avenues for popularizing and presenting poetry, facilitated by the rapid advancements in mobile technology (these possibilities have been made possible by QR code technology and the use of more recent AR or Augmented Reality computer technology). In this way, poetry has entered novel settings and tested new technological possibilities of presenting and living in an interactive virtual world. The videos selected by Petra Kolmančič for presentation at MFRU 2023 were created by Jože Slaček in collaboration with intermedia artist Toni Soprano Meneglejte. These works, created in the last three years, also include recent additions from 2023. Miriam Drev, Thanos Gogos (Greece), Borut Gombač, Jurij Hudolin, Denis Škofič, Maja Vidmar, and Ivo Stropnik have all contributed their poems to these projects.
Jože Slaček & Borut Gombač: Headlamp
2019, video, length 00:02:48
Jože Slaček & Jurij Hudolin: Pudak
2019-2020, video, length 00:04:24
Toni Soprano Meneglejte & Denis Škofič: Lord of the Flies
2021, video, length 00:03:04
Toni Soprano Meneglejte & Maja Vidmar: Ashtray
2021, video, length 00:02:47
Jože Slaček & Miriam Drev: When I walk among the trees, I'm not here...
2023, video, length 00:04:07
Toni Soprano Meneglejte & Ivo Stropnik: Anus
2021, video, length 00:03:47
- produced by MKC Maribor
- co-production: Naključje 7 and KonS