Polina Davydenko / Public Tinnitus

Posted on: March 25th, 2022 by & No Comments


In the video essay Public Tinnitus (2020), the artist Polina Davydenko returns to her hometown of Dobropolje, which lies in the Donetsk region of Ukraine. She tries to gently grasp what is imperceptible in a place where you live your daily life at the moment when it seems so obvious. No wonder the focus of Polina Davydenko’s work lies in photography, the essence of which is to construct the trap to capture the invisible. Besides caring for our lives, we also need to distance ourselves from them and participate in the articulation of our expanding life experience and self-understanding. The unheard sound of fans, the unseen heap of rubble, the immanence of the place, suddenly rise in the video essay and take on new values. There are various ways to make visible what is part of our lives imperceptibly. Artistic means, the creation of various communication media, tools and strategies can be examples of such practices. However, the destruction of a place by a war conflict is the way we reject.

The main narrator is a piece of coal that sings a ballad about the city of Dobropolje and rubble and asks why some stereotypes are so insurmountable. The coal is used in a comparison of the entire mechanism of a mining town to a beehive, in which honey is taken from the bees and replaced by sugar. Similarly, I perceive the mining town that is maintained only to exchange the coal for money and subsequently for products. The ubiquitous coal mining that keeps the whole city alive is audible and visible, but no one pays attention. Like tinnitus, or whistling in the ears, it disappears and reappears depending on how much attention we pay to it. I see the same parallel in the perception of the heap of inhabitants when this monument is completely overlooked. (author’s text)


The song in the video is sung by Toyota Vangelis


Polina Davydenko (*1995) is an audiovisual artist based in Brno. Her previous work deals with the approach of documentary photography and focuses especially on cultural stereotypes in the relationship between humans and animals. Recurring aspect in Davydenko’s work is the study of the phenomenon of storytelling.  Currently, one of Davydenko‘s main themes is the voyeuristic documentary photographer and her/his role in relation to the observed object. Her main medium is photography, but also audio, video and installation. In her previous work she observed the relationship between coal mining in eastern Ukraine and beekeeping.




autor: Polina Davydenko

name of the screensaver: Public Tinnitus

curator: Barbora Trnková




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