Alex Galmeanu / Other Stuff


Awaken Thee, Romanian! (V)

video, 1080p, 0:50 min

AWAKEN THEE, ROMANIAN! is an audio-video experiment which, through minimal means, manages to hint at a whole world of complex implications and tension in the historical relationship between Russia and Romania. On a black screen, placed in front of a blurred still image, the beginning lyrics of the Romanian anthem unfold. In parallel, a voice reads it aloud. But the reading is distorted not only by a Russian accent, but by obviously not knowing to read Romanian. The text is instead pronounced by the Google Translate robot, as it would be written in Russian. The dissonance is created by placing the authority of one language upon the other. This raises questions about the Russian imperialist cultural influence, and, in the context of the national anthem, it is politically suggestive. (Luciana Dumitru, BIEFF 2013)