Marcel Veldhoven performs Arthur Rimbaud's deliriously beautiful poem "Le Bateau Ivre". Written when he was only 16 in 1872, Rimbaud precociously sent it in a letter of of introduction to Paul Verlaine. Shortly afterwards, he joined Verlaine in Paris and became his lover. Rimbaud's poetry, as well as his life, influenced the symbolists, surrealists and many 20th century writers, musicians and artists - from Pablo Picasso to Dylan Thomas, Henry Miller to Jim Morrison.
In 2011 Marcel Veldhoven (poet, philosopher and performance artist), commissioned a number of Shoalhaven artists (NSW, Australia) to create an image inspired by a particular quatrain from the poem. Marcel performed the poem, in French, to a backdrop of the projected images along with a wonderful live, free-jazz accompaniment played by local musicians.
We made this film with Marcel when he donated the paintings to the Lady Denman Museum and Gallery so there would be a legacy of Marcel's performance forever married to the paintings - just as he had envisaged - as well as creating a 'stand-alone film' as our contribution to this inspiring project.
Marcel died on the 20th November 2012. He was a wonderful life-force of art, poetry, philosophy and romance. A true renaissance man. Rest in peace Marcel.
Kate and Stephen Broadhurst.