Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

Viggo News

Jump to page:
RSS feed for this page

Search Result

Show all news items in: Viggo News

Print View Link to this newsitem

Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

Found By: Iolanthe

On November 10th Viggo will be given the Alexander Garrett Award for Service to Beyond Baroque, celebrating his long association with this literary and arts centre, which was established in 1968. Not only does Viggo have a long history of live poetry readings -– his own and other poets’ work - and exhibitions there (One Man’s Meat in 1999), but he has given unstinting support when needed. I loved director Richard Modiano’s comment that, to him, Viggo is ‘a poet foremost’. I think it’s a great way to sum up Viggo’s artistic output because poetry doesn’t just have to be about words. His acting, his art, his music, his photography all has the poetic about it – a sensitive narrative of life gracefully and sensitively interpreted.

“Many funding sources had dried up and I reached out to Viggo for help — which came immediately. To me Viggo is a poet foremost — I know his work from the days of Cafe Iguana and the Onyx Cafe; and of course he polished his poetry chops in the Wednesday Night Poetry Workshops."

Beyond Baroque director Richard Modiano
The Book of Viggo
By Shana Nys Dambrot
LA Weekly
1 November 2018

Most of you out there are more than likely familiar with Viggo the actor, star of films like The Indian Runner, Crimson Tide, G.I. Jane, The Reflecting Skin, and Carlito's Way among others... but we here in Bumville know him as poet and angel. Viggo has been very actively involved in the reclamation of Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center in Venice, Ca. for a few years now and has been an active voice on the L.A. poetry scene as well. When The Carma Bums kicked off their Twisted Tour of Words in '96 at Luna Park in West L.A., Viggo came to see the show and wish us all bon voyage and ultimately helped us with artistic assist of our video/film The Luxurious Tigers Of Obnoxious Agreement.

For The Carma Bums
Carma Bums

'A lot of people that were here tonight said something about their writing, but were too embarrassed by it. And I'd ask them about what they write and encourage them to pursue it. People sometimes seem to feel that poetry is just this little thing you do privately, like your diary. But in reality it's something that you can work at in many ways, that you can share, that you can take as far as you like.'

Viggo Mortensen at the Midnight Special reading
A Religious Moment Where Something Might Happen
by Scott Thill
Morphizm 2002

The author of two published books of poetry, Mortensen crafts spare, fine-tuned verses that end with the sharp report of a metaphor hitting its target. Most paint a languid picture of West Coast suburban life a milieu of cars, swimming pools and lovers' conversations; some ruminate on the life of the movie actor with surprising acuity.

The Man Who Would Be King
by Nick Dent
Black & White Magazine

‘A teacher gave me the taste for poetry. I like the discipline it imposes, I like the reign of precision and the perfect word.’

Viggo Mortensen: "Travelling is the best anti-war weapon"
By Yetty Hagendorf - translated by Donna Marie
Le Soir (Belgium)
2 February 2015

‘To write a good poem requires discipline, discretion and precision.’

Viggo Mortensen: "You must live your contradictions”
by Olivier Cariguel
Le Magazine Litteraire
March 2015

"For me, it's like taking apart an engine. You take all the pieces, you put them on a table and when you finish putting it together, you leave some of them aside.”

Viggo on writing poetry
"Writing and acting are like being a kid again"
By Eduardo Bejuk
Gente Magazine – translated by Zooey
September 2009

"For me, music and poetry together mean something. When I feel something, I write. When I write, I think of a melody,"…

..he reads poems by Fabián Casas, like, for instance, "Sin llaves y a oscuras" [Without Keys and in the Dark], one by Bosnian poet Izet Sarajilic, or "Elogi de la discreció "[In Praise of Discretion], by Catalan poet Anna Rossell. With this last poem, the audience surrenders completely to the actor and applauds with great enthusiasm.

Romea Theatre poetry reading with pianist Rafel Plana
Viggo Mortensen Seduces at the Romea
By Griselda Oliver - translated by Ollie
26 February 2015

…in my performance [at the Romea Theatre] I read recent poems or some that I wrote years ago. Every time I read them, they come out in a different way. But I always remember where and how the poem in question came to be.

"Poetry is an art that will never disappear."
By Lluis Arcalis and Teresa Marquez translated by Ollie and Zoe
El Punt Avui
1 March 2016

'He kept a lot of his poetry inside his refrigerator,' says Cervenkova, 'which endeared him to me forever.'

Exene Cervenkova
Viggo Mortensen
by Steve Pond
US Magazine #236, 1997

To Viggo, poetry is a way to leave reality behind in order to reach another, purer reality, away from those commonplace moments and the difficult situations for which there's no apparent relief. Poetry, to him, is a way to put the world into perspective.

About Them... "I like a brave woman"
By Salvador Llopart - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zooey
La Vanguardia
14 March 2010

His poetry and prose are taut and gripping - the outpourings of a genuine talent, not a bored dilettante.

Understated A-lister Viggo Mortensen tells our reporter about his new cult hit 'Captain Fantastic' - and why it's impossible to be the perfect parent
by Ed Power
Irish Independent
31 August 2016

'I don't have to wait on other people as to whether I'm allowed to work, and it's up to me if I want to ruin it in the editing.'

Viggo Mortensen on writing poetry
Viggo Mortensen
by Steve Pond
US Magazine #236, 1997

“Poetry is an art that will never disappear; it will always exist.”

Poetry is an art that will never disappear
By Lluis Arcalis and Teresa Marquez translated by Ollie and Zoe
El Punt Avui
1 March 2016

You will find all previous Quotables here.

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © HB Carlos.

Print View Link to this newsitem

L.A. Artists and Performers to Salute Beyond Baroque’s 50th at Nov. 10 Gala

Source: Send2Press

More honors for Viggo!


All-star line-up of performers include John Doe and Exene Cervenka (founding members, X), John Densmore, (founding member, The Doors), and many more

© Beyond Baroque.
VENICE, Calif., Oct. 4, 2018 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) — A historic lineup of L.A.'s leading artists, performers, poets and authors will salute Beyond Baroque, the city's legendary literary center, at its 50th anniversary "Bohemian Bacchanal" on Saturday, November 10. The gala event, located in the Venice Arts Plaza, features a dinner and will be highlighted by presentations honoring actor/poet Viggo Mortensen, a long-time supporter of the non-profit organization, and award-winning poet Will Alexander. The evening also pays tribute to Beyond Baroque founder, George Drury Smith.

Read the entire article HERE.

© Send2Press.

Print View Link to this newsitem

Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

Found By: Iolanthe

I confess I'm more than a tad over-excited by the news of a new Viggo photography book, Ramas Para un Nido. One thing is for sure, it won't be predictable. With Viggo all photography rules get broken (don't shoot into the sun, don't over expose, hold it steady…). Even the camera itself is often broken – when most of us would be packing it away for a journey to the camera repair shop, Viggo keeps shooting just to see if something interesting will happen. It always does.

The pictures in this book have been made with different cameras, techniques, and, unavoidably, with all the longing, love, laughter, doubts, and mistakes that have shaped my life so far.

Viggo Mortensen
Perceval Press
October, 2017

'In a way, I am a photographer even when I don't take pictures. I think it's an instinctive thing by now, a part of myself'.

Viggo Mortensen, The Photographer Of Dreams
By Giovanni Valerio - translated by Cindalea
Panorama First
July 2008

He likes to sit in bars to listen, and he would love to go unnoticed as the least known of the regulars. But he almost never does. He seeks images, constantly, or images find him. And then, Viggo Mortensen takes out his professional camera and photographs at ease. He always has it ready, just in case. It could be a landscape, like when he went about the north of Argentina; it could be someone who catches his attention...

Viggo Mortensen - "Above all, I'm a Cuervo... And a greater pride does not exist"
By Eduardo Bejuk - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zooey
April 2010

Several of Viggo Mortensen's different faces can be seen in his photos, some more recognisable than others. In front of the large photograph Topanga 7 where golden green light moves across a profile like it was a reflecting water surface, he says in perfect Danish:

'This self-portrait I shot with a slow shutter speed. That way I became part of nature. You can see the blue sky through the brim of the hat and there are plants in my face. With that technique you can become one with the surroundings - the house, the wall, or nature.'

Caught In His Own Picture
By Trine Ross - translated by Rebekka
28 June 2003

Recently, I'm doing digital photography almost exclusively. I have old cameras, two from 1903 which I sometimes also continue using.

Web Chat with Viggo Mortensen
20 Minutos
Translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
6 September 2012

'Two years ago, I spent a few days in Montana with Viggo while he was shooting Hidalgo, and I swear he was never without a camera. One moment he was slamming on the brakes to photograph a horse on a hill, and the next, he was slowing down to take a picture of a cloud.'

Tom Roston
November 2004

'I have a camera with a broken lens -- I was actually doing it two days ago in Montana. There were all these horses running and I was taking pictures and then the lens was just all screwed up. So I took it off. I don't know what it's going to look like. It's hopefully just going to be a good flow of shapes and color.'

Viggo Mortensen
A Religious Moment Where Something Might Happen
By Scott Thill
Morphizm 2002

Did you and Viggo Mortensen use homemade cameras?

We're not that renaissance. Viggo's got an old hasselblad that he takes forever to focus & shoot. But I must admit he's got some real talent behind the lens. . . not too bad in front either.

John Doe
John Doe finds Emily at a Crossroads
By Emily Strange
June 2012

I've photographed a lot with Leica and Hasselblad cameras but last year I started using disposable cameras. They won't be available a short time from now so it was good to use the opportunity while I could and play with them. I often expose the pictures for a long time, shoot directly into the sun. A lot of interesting things happen when the light goes through these unclear plastic lenses. The photos become different. Sometimes I throw the cameras to the ground to loosen the lens a little bit, then interesting things happen. Then you check out the films and choose the best ones. I have an opinion of how I want them to be."

Dreaming About Telling Stories
By Einar Fal Ingolfsson - translated by Rosen and Ragga
29 May 2008

The artist uses multiple exposures, camera shake and long open shutter exposures coupled with extensive camera movement, to paint images onto the film emulsion.

Viggo Mortensen - Painting with Light
By Christopher Harrod
New Zealand Art Monthly
April 2004

He plays the camera like a musical instrument. It's a conversational kind of photography: it's Viggo telling you who he is with images. He looks at everything, believes everything has a meaning, and he shows you his pictures in the belief that seeing might reveals the hidden mysteries of everyday life.

Mark Power
The Salt Mine
3 September 2008

Mortensen's stills are often as much a question as they are an answer.

Things Are Weird Enough
by Shana Nys Dambrot,
Juxtapoz Magazine #19

Viggo Mortensen's photographs can be explained as poetic; sometimes the focus is shallow, a lot of movement, light sometimes leaks into the pictures and makes weird influences.

Dreaming About Telling Stories
By Einar Fal Ingolfsson - translated by Rosen and Ragga
29 May 2008

ST: I was trying to figure out the process for those flares. I thought that burn came from the development process.

VM: No, it was in the camera. The wiring that advanced the film and activated the flash got messed up. I was fishing and dropped the camera and it got wet. When it dried out, it started doing that. I shot a roll, saw it and thought, "Oh, shit." But when I looked at them, I thought that some of them looked kind of interesting. So on the next roll, I tried moving the wire all the way to one side and the flares would go to that side. Then I moved it to the middle, the right, and on the bottom and shot maybe eight rolls of film before it stopped working altogether.

A Religious Moment Where Something Might Happen
By Scott Thill
20 September 2002
Source: Morphizm

When I see my own pictures, it's like seeing a movie. It is, for example a single moment in a film scene, that you remember. So is also the case with my pictures. I remember the places I've been to and can go there again through the pictures, Viggo says.'

Viggo on the sadanset exhibition
Kim Kastrup
Ekstra Bladet
16 October 2008

Not everything's a masterpiece, of course, not by a long shot. But when Mortensen's good, when he's firing on all cylinders, he has the ability to produce some truly breathtaking images. According to Dennis Hopper, it's because Mortensen's instincts "come from the right place, from the subconscious."

The Other Side of Viggo Mortensen
By Paul Young
Variety Life

You will find all previous Quotables here.

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © Viggo Mortensen.

Print View Link to this newsitem

Banyoles Reading Review Translation

Translation by Ollie

Mega thanks to ollie for providing this translation of Viggo's poetry reading review in Banyoles ...

"OK, here´s my translation of the Banyoles short article. With thanks to Chrissie who helped me polish it ... Despite her mistake at the beginning, which all of you will spot, the closing sentence of this article shows that the [author] woman really got what this man and his voice can do to an audience."

Binoculars to listen to poetry

© Festival Aphonica.
By Alba Carmona

His own poems, works from other people and the accompaniment of a piano were the only weapons that the actor needed to thrust the blade and leave the concert hall in Banyoles with a standing ovation.

The North-American, son of Aragorn from Lord of the Rings [sic] and heir to other memorable characters, like the Russian mobster from Eastern Promises, opened on Friday the Aphonica Festival with Ramas para un nido, a performance on a naked stage, sold out days ago, in which the poetry recited is reflected by the melodies of Rafel Plana´s piano.

Dressed in black from head to toe, Mortensen changed the uniform of a legendary character to get in the skin of the rhapsodists. Barefooted - he parked the sneakers on stage as soon as he came in- and with a disorganised bundle of papers in his hands, he opened the reading singing Bob Dylan´s Masters of War.

"Thank you for coming on this rainy night...We almost didn´t make it! We have suffered a little oil explosion when we were in Maçanet, on our way here, and we have messed the car good and proper, doing everything you don´t have to do.That´s why our hands look so black...luckily so are our clothes," he joked before getting into his poetic repertoire, where he reflects on everyday life, violence and the mechanics of writing. He was only interrupted by the ringing of a cell phone of someone sitting in the first rows, who got a half serious, half ironic reproach from the actor.

Alternating Spanish, English and Catalan, he went jumping from his own poetry to that of others, with works from the Argentine poet Fabián Casas or María Mercè Marçal, from whom he borrowed El meu amor sense casa (My Love Without a Home), a poem, he says, that reminds him of the refugees drama despite being written in another context. The same happens to him, he said, with Tonada del viejo amor, a popular Argentine song he used to bring the evening to a close.

Acclaimed by an audience full of followers, especially female followers -so much that some of them came prepared with binoculars to see him as close as possible- he came back on stage with Plana for an encore. Then, he gathered the bundle of papers, the shoes, and left in another round of applause. The feeling lingered that had he gone on stage to read the manual of a washing machine, it wouldn´t have changed the warm reaction of the audience.

© Diari de Girona.

Print View Link to this newsitem

Binocles per sentir poesia

Found By: Chrissie

Thanks to Chrissie for the find.


Viggo Mortensen i Rafel Plana obren l'Aphònica, el festival de la Veu de Banyoles, amb el recital «Ramas para un nido»

by Alba Carmona

Poesies pròpies, textos aliens i l'acompanyament d'un piano van ser les úniques armes que va necessitar l'actor Viggo Mortensen per clavar l'estocada i sortir ovacionat de l'auditori de l'Ateneu de Banyoles.

El nord-americà, fill d'Aragorn del Senyor dels anells i hereu d'altres personatges memorables com el mafiós rus de Promeses de l'Est, va encetar divendres el festival Aphònica amb Ramas para un nido, un espectacle nu en què la poesia recitada s'emmiralla en les melodies del piano de Rafel Plana i que havia exhaurit les entrades feia dies.

Vestit de negre de cap a peus, Mortensen va canviar l'uniforme de personatge llegendari per posar-se a la pell dels rapsodes. Descalç -va aparcar les vambes a l'escenari només d'entrar-- i amb un feix desordenat de papers a les mans, va obrir el recital entonant la lletra de Masters of War de Bob Dylan.

«Gràcies per venir en aquesta nit tan plujosa... Nosaltres gairebé no arribem! Hem patit una petita explosió d'oli quan érem a Maçanet, de camí, i hem remenat de valent el cotxe, fent tot el que no s'ha de fer, per això portem les mans ben negres... sort que la roba també!», va bromejar abans d'entrar en el seu repertori poètic, en què reflexiona sobre la quotidianitat, la violència i el mecanisme de l'escriptura. Només el va interrompre el so d'un telèfon mòbil d'un dels ocupants de les primeres files, que va rebre la reprovació mig seriosa mig irònica de l'intèrpret.

Alternant el castellà, l'anglès i el català, va anar saltant de la poesia pròpia a l'aliena, amb textos del poeta argentí Fabián Casas o Maria Mercè Marçal, a qui va manllevar El meu amor sense casa, un text que, diu, li evoca el drama dels refugiats tot i estar escrit en un altre context. El mateix li passa, va assegurar, amb la Tonada del viejo amor, una cançó popular argentina que va fer servir per tancar la vetllada.

Reclamat per un públic ple de seguidors i sobretot, seguidores -tant, que algunes anaven preparades amb binocles per veure'l de ben a prop-, va tornar a l'escenari amb Plana per fer l'apunt final. Després, va recollir el manat de fulls, les sabates i va marxar entre més aplaudiments, deixant la sensació que si hi hagués pujat a llegir el manual d'instruccions d'una rentadora, la reacció efusiva dels espectadors no hauria canviat.

© Diari de Girona. Images ©

Display options:
Order by:        
Jump to page:
RSS feed for this page
Last edited: 21 April 2019 12:44:59