A knock from below heard at the bottom (2022)

Polina Medvedeva

Interactive sound installation
In this interactive sound installation, equipped with an electromagnetic microphone the audience becomes a voyeur, a foreign agent, an onlooker and an accomplice scanning the space that feigns normalcy, where up is down. Polina Medvedeva, born in Murmansk region, raised in the Netherlands, and now based in Norway, draws inspiration from the saying “just as you thought you’ve reached the bottom, someone knocks from below.” Referring to the wire-tapping of power sockets in the Soviet Union and GDR, the work is an assemblage of conversations which are intercepted, listened in on, recalled or recorded. It attempts a search for the origin of the atrocities, trust in disinformation and passive endurance in today’s Russia, as well as sparks of civil disobedience amid absurdity of censorship and the decline of civil rights. A noticeable undercurrent within the conversations is a generational divide tearing up family ties.

Image Caption: A knock from below heard at the bottom, Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten Open Studios, 2022. Photo: Sander van Wettum