Art and poetry have long been considered fruitful allies. Both share a structure, harmony and rhythm; both emerge from a desire to make something new out of the familiar, to capture a thought or an experience in a compelling way. Polyphonic is a vivid interplay between these art forms, a coming together of written word with still and moving image that brings Romania’s best contemporary poetry to life with twenty animations created by visual artist Raluca Popa. Weaving together the image-making power of poetry with diverse animation techniques, the artist illustrated works by nine young Romanian poets of various ethnic backgrounds, who themselves use polyphony in their poetry by writing both in Romanian and their first language. The poets are Michael Astner, Andrei Dósa, Robert Gabriel Elekes, Matei Hutopila, Henriette Kemenes, Aleksandar Stoicovici, Livia Ștefan, Mihok Tamas, and Victor Țvetov.
All animations have English subtitles. Translated to English by Adam J. Sorkin, Andrew K. Davidson, Anastasia Gavrilovici, and Cătălina Stanislav. Voiceover: Nicoleta Lefter and Istvan Teglas.
Curated by Simona Nastac. Produced by the National Museum of Romanian Literature in Bucharest.
In 2018, the live show including a collective poem coordinated by Claudiu Komartin, toured to the European Poetry Festival in London, Bucharest International Poetry Festival, and Brussels PoetryFest, with support from the Romanian Cultural Institute.