We were commissioned by the Petőfi Literary Museum to create an immersive audiovisual projection that presents the poems of Hungarian writer Júlia Szendrey. Szendrey, usually remembered as the wife of Sándor Petőfi, who is considered to be Hungary’s national poet, was, in fact, a poet and writer in her own right as well as a pioneer of Feminism in Hungary.
Our piece consists of a large-scale projection with sound in the Szendrey Room at the museum. In the video projection, the poems unfold as if written by hand by Szendrey herself. To achieve this authentic and exquisite aesthetic, we used the original scanned pages of Szendrey’s manuscripts. As the poems unfold to the musical compositions of Gábor Csordás, visitors can also hear the pieces read by actor Kata Pető. Then, the poems disappear line by line, stroke by handwritten stroke in an impressive animation. Thus, visitors can read and hear them one after the other. Cold colours, fog and flocking crows, a recurrent motif in her poetry, can be seen in the background of the poems. The mood suggested by these reflects the sense of loss and unhappiness that seems to have defined her life.