Scent of Time

29’53, The Netherlands, 2022

Lead role: Polina Hordiievska, Director: Emilia Tapprest, Concept & Script: Emilia Tapprest & Victor Evink, Supporting roles: Andrei Iovev, Dayana Mankovskaya, Costume: Dasha Golova, Incense clock: Camilo Garcia A., Music: Tarawangsawelas, David J. Adan (Doppelgänger), Moritz Haas (Europa), Darya Permyakova (Baby D.), Voiceovers: Oksana Kim (iVoiceU), Andrei Iovcev, Alyona Hordiievska, Funding: Mondriaanfonds, Stimuleringsfonds, AVEK / Media Art Grant, i-Portunus


Scent of Time (29min, 2022) is a contemporary coming-of-age story diving into topics such as exile, shifting worldviews and awakening self-determination. The narrative takes place partly in the protagonist’s subconscious mind in which her different experiences and dilemmas are expressed from an embodied perspective through dance. The visual narration of the work is centered around a large ‘incense clock’ which mirrors her journey in an alternative space-time which becomes known as the liminal realm.


Raised by her protective mother by the Black Sea, a recent political crisis has forced 12-year-old Vlada to leave home and move with a mysterious family friend in a peripheral city in Europe. Typically, her lifeworld, immersed in the metaverse as an upcoming XR performance talent, and that of ‘A’ rarely intersect. Yet, sensing the necessity, A begins to teach her how to protect herself by outsmarting systems she is part of – particularly those which exist outside of the protection of her mother or stable societal institutions.


The project’s name is derived from the book with the same title by South Korean-born Swiss-German philosopher Byung-Chul Han. In a series of essays, he contrasts East-Asian incense-based time-keeping methods with the Western clock to re-value contemplative time against the pressure of being consumed by the concept of work. Scent of Time explores ways to broaden his approach in order to create a liminal space of reflection – taking distance not only from ‘work’ under contemporary capitalism, but from any kind of value paradigm that has the power to consume us.


Scent of Time belongs to the multi-year worldbuilding research umbrella ‘Zhouwei Network’, driven by the research duo Liminal Vision (Emilia Tapprest & Victor Evink). It was presented for the first time within a dedicated exhibition at Bologna Art City 2022 curated by Felice Moramarco, accompanied by a hybrid dance performance by Polina Hordiievska (2009, Odessa).


The film will be part of the screening on 06.11.2022, 11:30-13:30, Festival and Congress Centre – Varna.