Exterior Artworks of the Here and Now! Exhibition
Polina Davydenko - How Many Times Will I Speak about Myself?
Polina Davydenko’s photograph on the rear façade of the House of Arts facing the park depicts a raptor wearing a falconry cap in a visually appealing aesthetic. There is a tension between the refined impact of the image, depicting the falcon as a perfect object against a neutral grey background, and the content of the work thematising both the motif of covert manipulation and domination, as well as a certain self-centeredness and closed view of the surrounding world. The eye-covering falcon cap is commonly used as an aid to calm the raptor, allowing easy manipulation and control of the animal by giving it an artificial sense of security in a state of perceptual isolation. Human power and dominance, their decision-making and treatment of animals, correspond to an anthropocentric perception of the world that is judged and observed only from our point of view, while others are denied sight. In sociology and psychology, the ‘conditioned gaze’ is associated with the generating of power and is thus a political tool. The act of looking gives more power to the one who is looking, as opposed to the observed. Figuratively, the weakening of sensory perceptions, together with isolation from the outside world leading to closedness and limited perceptual possibilities, can be seen as a metaphor for the self-absorption, self-centredness of a person able to perceive solely their own view or opinion.
Polina Davydenko works with the medium of photography with an overreach to video, performance and installation. Her work is characterized by exploring the phenomena of the photographic medium, be it the principle of voyeurism of the observer towards the observed object, the symbolic language of photography or the search for narrative possibilities through documentary cycles or individual images.