World Premier at the 2017 Hill Country Film Festival – April 27-30

I don’t know if I am dreaming any of this, or if in fact the making of our film, A Force in Nature, has reached its final conclusion, giving way to a new phase in the film’s life cycle. We helped it along through its conception and development, and now it’s about to be born out for the world to see and experience for the first time.

Finishing A Force in Nature was undoubtedly a personal challenge for me. Through the course of the ten years of production/post-production, I would often wonder if it would ever get finished, especially since this film was mostly self-funded. The close collaboration I had with co-producer and editor Vishwanand Shetti (aka. V.) during the past 6 years was not only an extraordinary opportunity to learn the art of perseverance and patience with getting the project finished, but also afforded V. and I the space to explore the depths of Jóhann’s life and his thought provoking art installations.

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The 2017 Hill Country Film Festival will be where the film will have its first public exhibition on Saturday, April 29. For me personally, this process of making this film has also fostered a long and lasting collaborative friendship with both V and Jóhann Eyfells, who continue to have an unwavering influence on me as a human being and artist.

Being an artist is nothing short of insanity, yet its the type of insanity the world needs right now, desperately! Its the right kind of insanity, in which we are challenged to allow ourselves to experience the unexpected and spontaneous, and be aware of the forces that keep us complaisant and indifferent. When taking action or making a gesture, an artist does so without hesitation because he/she knows that the expression itself has to be authentic and immediate. The artist does not allow fear to dictate the decisions and choices he/she makes, but rather fear is merely there to signal that an action and/or thought is to take place.

As is often the case, when in the presence of Jóhann, one is constantly put to the intellectual test. Recently, Jóhann Eyfells and I discussed the difference between the concepts of “instinct” and “intuition”. He asked me if I knew the difference. Hesitantly, I responded that I thought I had good intuition and instinct and admittedly used both words interchangeably, not really aware of the difference. Jóhann was quick to point out the difference to me, explaining that “instinct” is spontaneous and tireless, while “intuition” is more deliberate and sluggish. That got me thinking. Once more Jóhann challenges me to get in the ring and participate in the fight against complacency.

Do you know the difference between “instinct” and “intuition?”

Hayden de M. Yates (director and co-producer)

Visit HillCountryff.com and book your festival passes now. A Force in Nature will be screening on Saturday, April 29 at 11am.

“This is my best work yet!”

At 93, Jóhann is in the midst of creating yet another large body of work, which is no less challenging to the critical eye of the public viewer. Not only is it large in scale, but extremely massive in weight, some pieces weighing up to 14 tons. I cannot readily explain the meaning of this series of sculptural pieces, but I do know that after 11 years of knowing him and following him through several different phases, that this one is quite remarkable.

The process by which these pieces are created begins by him finding large discarded and often mangled single purpose industrial parts, reminiscent of the industrial age and beyond. As he scrutinizes and makes his selection, Jóhann is carefully listening to each piece as it whispers to him, expressing its mangled past, each one subjected to the various destructive forces that shaped it as it was being decommissioned and discarded. It’s as if, once it loses its “raison d’être”or usefulness as a cog in the machine, the individual unique narrative of it’s life begins to take shape. The “cog” that was designed for its functional usefulness, born out, manufactured ‘en masse’, indistinguishable from the rest of the cogs, is now given new life again to express its unique self. Once again, Jóhann the artist, is the midwife that brings each of these pieces to light for us to experience.

As a viewer or participant of these Eyfells’ pieces,  I can say with total conviction that if you are willing to listen hard enough to your own creative source, each piece will speak to you in ways that will blow your mind. Personally, I was left stunned.

SEE THE FILM: https://vimeo.com/135532487

Submission to festivals

Now that the film is finished, except for a few minor touch ups, we are now ready to submit it to all sorts of film festivals. We’ve just submitted it for consideration at next year’s Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah and SXSW in Austin, TX. The dates for both festivals are as follows:

Sundance Film Festival is  January 21-31, 2017 (Notification date is December 7). SXSW is March 10-19, 2017 (Notification date is February 10).

V. and I were also able to make a poster for our film, utilizing an image that was originally shot by Ian Candler. I suspect we will have a couple other options before too long. Here is our poster:

Counting Down the Days: Post-production (editing) is coming to a final end, giving way to a new beginning.

May 18, 2016

Our NLE timeline!!!!

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The moment we have been waiting for is quickly approaching. The narrative or story for our film is completely constructed and finally finished! We have 100 minutes of ‘story’ laid down on the timeline. Now comes the work of bringing in all together in a cohesive structure, as well as add the b-roll, wild sound, graphics and proper music. Both V and I are ecstatic that we are finally at this stage! Something I have long waited for since the project began… About 9 years ago.

(Hayden de Maisoneuve Yates – Producer & Director)

 August 7, 2016

Last night, to my delight, I just saw the rough final cut of our film, A Force in Nature, that Vishwanand Shetti had just completed after pulling many all night sessions of editing that would usually begin at 10pm the night before and end the following morning at 7am. We’ve reached that critical place my friends! I can say without a doubt that it’s turning out BEAUTIFULLY!

Can you believe it? We’ve been editing for over four years?
It’s also been that long since Anderson Seal and I had shot some of the most beautiful Icelandic scenery this world has to offer (https://vimeo.com/151791661), and meeting the most incredible group of people you could ever hope to meet, the EYFELLS family!
I am both humbled and grateful by the experiences this film and my 11 year friendship with Johann Eyfells have been able to offer me. Both Vishwanand and I acknowledge that the growth and friendship that we both experienced on this film has been deeply profound.
The next stage now is to add graphics, do a final sound mix, find the right music, and do some color correcting, and start shopping it around and exhibiting it. We would like to welcome my dear friend Gary Walker to the fold as he will be doing some of his post-production magic on our film. He was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Individual Achievement in a Craft: Graphic Design for his work on The Eyes of Me.

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A FORCE in NATURE is a film that celebrates the artist spirit that makes the impossible seem possible. Johann Eyfells embodies that human spirit that emboldens us to face our fears of the unknown and become more than what we perceive of ourselves. Jóhann is certainly not Cervantes’ tragic and defeated character of Don Quixote, Man of La Mancha, but rather the true hero that fought all of his monsters and won!

Together Vishwanand Shetti and I are very proud of what we were able to accomplish with this film, and we could not have done without you and the support you have all shown us!

You can visit our blog at https://www.facebook.com/groups/128411080555698/and read all about Jóhann and our filming through the course of the last 4+ years.

(Hayden de M. Yates – Producer and Director)

September 4, 2016

Five years of editing is coming to a close. I’ve spent every spare moment of my 30’s studying every interview and allowing the process of Johann Eyfells to become part of our process.

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Funny thing is I only personally met this 93 year old sculptor for maybe the 4th or 5th time in all these years last week, yet he has become a very influential person in my life after the tens of thousands of hours I’ve spent working with the hundreds of hours that the director, Hayden Maisoneuve Yates, has captured over the past 10 years. Looking forward to sharing these ~90 mins real soon.

(Vishwanand Shetti – Producer and Editor)

September 16, 2016

Our new timeline. Finished!

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September 24, 2016

We just submitted our film to both the Sundance Film Festival and SXSW, which means we have really finished! It’s taking a little time for this to sink in. From this point on the film will take a life of its own. Both Vishwanand and I are exulted at the the idea that we now can see the kind of life that this beautiful film will take. Be sure to keep updated on the day to day events on our Facebook page

https://www.facebook.com/groups/128411080555698/

SEE THE FILM: https://vimeo.com/135532487

I am a Thief

“I am a thief. I steal someone’s creation. I take someone else’s ‘success and make it my own.” Jóhann Eyfells

There is an inert and outward beauty in these so called found objects that Eyfells selects as his own. How is he able to recognize the inherent genius that created each of these objects? Is it God or is it Man? When each of these forms were initially created, they were designed and manufactured for a single function use to serve mankind. Jóhann Eyfells recognizes, not only the brilliant unambiguous engineering in each of these object, but also the inherent beauty of obsolescence. Most of these pieces share a common fate. They experienced a similar array of forces that it took to create, utilize and destroy them. Eyfells is merely there to bring these forces to light by displaying these objects in their various stages of disintegration and dissolution. He will also go as far as to give them new life and re-purpose them into functioning pieces of art. Thanks to Jóhann they begin a new life of artistic expression.

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(photo courtesy of Hayden de M. Yates)

Should you wish to participate towards the making of our feature film documentary, A Force in Nature, you can do so right here:

https://paypal.me/VitruviusCreations

My life with Jóhann

It is a rare moment when I can fully reflect on my life and acknowledge how a single human being has significantly influenced my life.  But after almost 10 years of knowing Jóhann Eyfells, as an artist and a human being, I have finally managed to do just that.

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The art of Johann Eyfells is not an embodiment of the person but rather an expression of  something beyond the person, beyond the rational constructs of modern civilization that have shaped our physical lives. When you stand and face an Eyfells’ sculpture be prepared to be intellectually, psychically and spiritually challenged. You are about to enter a reality that is both unfamiliar and irrational. It is truly the unknown, seemingly chaotic, which most of us will avoid at all costs.

I have no doubt now, that Jóhann Eyfells is as nimble, precise and swift with his understanding of the cosmos and the physical world we live in, as he was in the ring as a boxing champion in Iceland. It is with this almost ‘supernatural’ agility that he is able to conceptualize and execute all of his projects, whether it is his collapsions, in which ‘time’ as an abstract concept is visually revealed, his cairns, his rocks or his multiple installations of ‘industrial made’ found objects of massive proportions, sometime weighing up to 14 tons.

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And let me tell you, when I stop to think how a 92 year old, whose body is as fragile as porcelain, can manage to lift and precisely position these huge rusted steel remnants of an industrial age past to satisfy his aesthetic compulsion as an artist, I am often left speechless and astonished.

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Yes, indeed, he often sees the inherent beauty of something that would otherwise seem obsolete and discarded to most of us seemingly ‘forward thinking’ humans, and that is precisely what these objects have become to him, beautiful expressions of human engineering and brilliance. Recently, they have become necessary and critical components to articulating to the world our often unsettled and sometimes fearful relationship with the unknown and irrational. It does seem ironic that he uses the very elements that not only embody the rational and physical world, manufactured tools and elements of the industrial age, like giant turbine propellers, to open our minds to the unfamiliar seemingly insane world of Eyfells.

As a true artist, he tirelessly challenges our tendency towards complacency, brought on by the comforts and conveniences of the industrial, electronic and now, digital age. I see him as the Don Quixote of the 21st century, tirelessly and against all odds, confronting the rational world, except this time he does not represent a tragic character that ultimately gives in to ‘convention’ and renounces his ‘insanity’ to become a mere shepherd. No, instead, he selflessly provides us with the opportunity to see for ourselves how collectively we can easily be allured by the deceptiveness of rational thought, that it is ok to embrace the irrational, the unknown. He is our new hero, without a doubt, and it will take us a little while to realize this. Its highly probable that he will not see this revolution of thought take hold before he passes on, but I would hope that he will bare witness to a larger audience and more global appreciation of his accomplishments.

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If WE are willing and courageous enough to allow ourselves to be immersed into the unknown and uncharted aspects of our intellect and psyche, I promise, like I have, YOU will in fact see the light and wisdom of Jóhann’s aesthetic expression and art, and as a result, be forever transformed.

Today, thanks to the insight I’ve gained through Johann’s work and vision, I feel I am at a better place in my life, simply because I am not defeated by the fear of the unknown. In fact, it is that fear that signals that part of me to move forward instead of backward, to take risks and ‘leaps of faith’. It is also through those ‘leaps of faith’ that I discover new understanding, not only of myself, but of the cosmos around me. I will certainly miss Jóhann when he is no longer with us, but his insight and joy of life will eternally course through my veins.        Written by Hayden de M. Yates

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Photos by Hayden de M. Yates and Ian Candler

To see the trailer of the new documentary film, A Force in Nature, go to the following link:  https://vimeo.com/135532487

Iceland is recognizing one of their own

Johann’s sculpture has recently made headlines on the most important Icelandic publication, FRETTABLADID. See it below:

JohannNewspaper copyBe sure to also see the trailer for A Force in Nature here: https://vimeo.com/135532487

The Meaning of “I”

The basis of Jóhann Eyfells’ formula and work is this, as I understand it so far:

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The letter “I” stands for that which is eternal, also referred to as the “INNARDS of Eternity“, which does not yet exist in the material sense, but has the potential of being manifested (M).

Three examples of events in which some ‘thing’ that is being manifested from ‘nothing’; Darkness manifests into Light, Silence manifests into Sound, Stillness manifests into Movement.

As one observes some of Eyfells’ work or processes, whether it’s his large collapsions, large panels of dripping metal or cairns, they are representative of something that is “Spontaneous yet, Slow in Birth”. Furthermore, his spirals are representative of that which is spontaneous and joyful, yet still representing that which has “neither beginning nor end”, like the cross-section of time.

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