Monthly Ekphrastic: GIF from Alice Suret-Canale’s Hour Hour Minute Minute

Each month, resident poet Molly Jean Bennett addresses a work of art in a poem. For this final installment of 2017, Dilettante Army’s editors asked Ari Spool, Community Curator at GIPHY, to select a GIF. Spool is, as far as our correspondent is aware, the preeminent expert on all the art that fits in GIFs. Spool not only combs through millions of GIPHY user accounts to find artists who are making unique, arresting GIFs—she and co-curator Dani Newman optimize such work to be seen and shared widely throughout the strange backwaters and wild frontiers of the internet.[1]

For our correspondent’s ekphrastic purposes, Spool selected this piece by Paris-based animator Alice Suret-Canale. This GIF is part of a larger project called Hour Hour Minute Minute, which Suret-Canale describes as an “animated collection of approximate moments.”

Our correspondent reached out to Suret-Canale on Twitter and it turns that she is herself a fan of ekphrasis, having learned about the form as a student of Greek history. Bolstered by the thrill of tweet-rapport with the artist, our correspondent set about committing the GIF to poem.



Large Disaster Small Disaster

Everything here shimmers. The sun in winter. A neighbor has arranged Scrabble tiles on the sidewalk: “I do not love the cold wind.” I do not love it either. I do not love the thin sock. I do not love the chapped lip. There are other things I do not love, like the distance from the counter to the floor. I do not love the wine as it spreads and stops at the seam where the tile meets the wall. I love neither the bucket nor the mop nor the long drop.

Did you play this game in school? The teacher gave everyone an egg. You took it home and made for it a tissue paper parachute or a shoebox lined with gauze. The next morning, the teacher went up on the roof of gym and dropped the eggs down one by one. Whose design would protect their cargo? It was a lesson in physics or loss. One girl put her egg in a balloon filled with tapioca pearls. Another sewed hers inside a horsehair pillow. There was a rumor that one boy had replaced his with a smooth, white stone.

It was winter and you pressed yourself tight with the other students against the cold wind. Together, you raised your eyes to the teacher as he made his way to the edge of the roof with the first egg. You did not love the long moment. Then, as with most things in your life (and mine) that would fall or fall on purpose, time unfolded like this: pause, accelerate, bust open.



[1] Gotthardt, Alexxa. “GIPHY Is Helping Get Artists’ Works Viewed 100 Million Times.” Artsy 2017. Accessed 2017.