A video diptych by artist and photographer Polina Davydenko presents two video essays: Public Tinnitus and Potter Wasp, which tell the life stories of two characters: a woman, an economic migrant from Ukraine, and a man, a miner working in a coal mine in the Donetsk region. Their stories can be seen as a universal testimony about migration, poor working conditions or expressions of climate grief, and more narrowly as a record of the experience of many Ukrainian families before the full-scale Russian-Ukrainian war began.
In the context of the climate crisis, my generation was already born in the skin of a slow-cooked frog, but it was not until the covid pandemic and the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian war that our self-image was fully shattered. The ensuing shock and disillusionment have caused a definitive erosion of our supposedly fundamental values of rationality and humanism, and call for the need to redefine them. In the works of the emerging generation of artists, this reassessment is manifested in particular by a turn towards their countervalues: towards romanticism, spirituality, or the quest for the equal status of all members of the planetary community.