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Poetic Paper Cut-Outs Give Greek Tragedy New Wings

This is poetry that looks as good as it sounds.

Animated paper cutouts a la Henri Matisse come together to form a visual representation of a poem influenced by the Greek mythological character Orpheus. In Transmission, illustrator and animator Afroditi Bitzouni interprets Chris Sakellaridis’s poem of the same name through a form of collage animation. The seamless fluidity of Bitzouni’s animation resembles the work of Matt Smithson in his Decoding the Mind video. Taking cues from a chilling score by John Davidson, Bitzouni creates fragmented landscapes and abstract humanoids from scraps of colored paper. The majority of the cut outs are grain layer construction paper while others look like they were taken from a magazine or book.

Transmission is one part of an experimental performance project called 3361 Orpheus. According to the video’s Behance page, the project is a hybrid of “poetry and spoken word, experimental theatre, music, animation, friend recording and sound art.” This amalgamation of artistic mediums was inspired by the range of mythology surrounding the Greek musician and poet Orpheus. Over the centuries, Orpheus’s archetypal character has been adapted to represent the style and culture of each age and it’s conception of music and the written word. Watch the poem below:

Transmission by Chris Sakellaridis

Shaded
in the shape of a mist
my breath quivers
patient
I recast the echoes
of our past
our touches and endeavours
debris now, all ashes
and white dust.

I know now
in this endless quest
I will surely find no rest
not in oceans or in rivers
not in company or in solitude
not in glades, coasts
stars or flowers
my breath quivers
I know now
our touches and endeavours
condemned to love
all ashes
and white dust.

Learn more about the 3361 Orpheus project on Behance and SoundCloud. You can check out more animations by Afroditi Bitzouni on Vimeo

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