Loneliness Online – Photography Exhibition by Sergey Melnitchenko

Opening: June 6, 6–9pm

07.06.2018   - 16.06.2018

For Immediate Release

Press Release: Photography, Contemporary Art, International Artists

Loneliness Online – Photography Exhibition by Sergey Melnitchenko

WHAT: Photography by Sergey Melnitchenko

WHEN: Opening: June 6, 6–9pm
Duration: June 7–16, Tues-Sat 2–7pm or by appointment

WHERE: SomoS Art House – Kottbusser Damm 95, 1.0G, 10967, Berlin, U8 – Schönleinstraße

WHO: Sergey Melnitchenko (Ukraine)

BERLIN—May 3, 2018

Loneliness Online – Photography Exhibition by Sergey Melnitchenko

In the photography exhibition presented by SomoS Art House in Berlin, Sergey Melnitchenko (b. 1991, Ukraine) shares his series titled “Loneliness Online.” The series is a sociocultural research on pathogenicity in social networks, caused by the psychological effects of isolation. In this solo presentation curated by Anastasia Leonova, Melnitchenko casts a cool gaze on his subject, using an associative and lyrical method.

Loneliness Online also marks a moment in time, when the novelty value of video-enabled technology was leading to widespread adoption, but at the same time it still maintained an aura of mystique and an insider appeal (think Chatroulette rather than FaceTime). These randomized and anonymous online encounters were and still are a vital forum and an outlet for desires, not only exhibitionism, but a space of freedom, fueled by the anonymity and the digital remove. This also makes it a space of experimentation, not only shame, but release for many from the constraints of society and prejudicial attitudes they may encounter “in real life.”

Thus, in 2013 Melnitchenko created Loneliness Online, one of the artist’s first projects exploring the boundaries of public and intimate spaces, by experimenting with a kind of cameraless photography only recently enabled by our increasingly intimate relationship with digital devices:

I waited until I came across such a companion, then “photographed” him by pressing ‘Prt Sc’. During all the time I spent in the video chats, I captured about 200-300 of such characters, and then selected the most interesting in my opinion. This is how the left side of the picture developed.

Sergey Melnitchenko, Artist’s Statement

The project represents of the state of loneliness through the pairing of solitary images of trees and strangers’ bodies as seen in video chat rooms online. Melnitchenko brings a layer of complexity and a poetic meaning through his sensitive juxtaposition of the intimate imagery.

Curated by Anastasia Leonova
Curatorial Essay by Anastasia Leonova & Brooke Mason Cheney
Opening: June 6, 6–9pm
Duration: June 7–16, Tues-Sat 2–7pm
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About Sergey Melnitchenko

Sergey Melnitchenko is a rising star of the Ukrainian underground photography community, fearlessly seeking out challenging subjects such as masculinity in Ukraine, the secretive backstage world of showgirls in China, and queer, transgender, and other marginalized identities throughout the world. His deep immersion in these topics allows him to photograph his subjects at their most vulnerable, affording us insights into the extremely intimate moments in the everyday life of these people. His creative approach extends beyond the traditional boundaries of the medium of photography, involving collage and installation to further contextualize his work, blending elements of the political with his personal, poetic and often conceptual approach.

Born in 1991, Sergey Melnitchenko is a Ukrainian photographer and a member of Ukrainian Photographic Alternative, a collective that promotes contemporary photography in Ukraine. His recent photo essay “Behind the Scenes” offers an intimate peek into the underground nightlife of the Chengdu nightclub in China and was honored with the Leica Oskar Barnack Newcomer Award in 2017. Additionally, he has been named Photographer of the Year (Kiev, Ukraine) in 2012, 2013, and 2016. His work has been internationally exhibited in over 10 solo shows and over 50 exhibitions worldwide.

About Anastasia Leonova

The curator of “Loneliness Online – Photography Exhibition by Sergey Melnitchenko,” Anastasia Leonova is a young curator from Kharkiv, Ukraine. She has been the founding director and curator of Come In Art Gallery in Kharkiv, Ukraine since its inception in 2014, where she has produced more than 34 exhibitions focusing on contemporary concerns in fine art by emerging artists across mediums.

Leonova graduated from V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University with a Bachelors degree in sociology before going on to further studies with a masters degree from the department of history and theory of art at Kharkiv State Academy of Design and Fine Arts.

Read the Curatorial Essay for Loneliness Online by Anastasia Leonova & Brooke Mason Cheney.

About SomoS

Selected by Artslant Magazine as one of Berlin’s most interesting art project organizations, SomoS Art House provides space and resources for the production, presentation, and reflection of the arts. SomoS’ ever-expanding Artist-in-Residency program and ambitious exhibitions and event schedule allows for unique opportunities with artists, organizers, and curators to realize an array of artistic endeavors.

SomoS’ mission is to create an international open framework for innovative arts, exhibitions, education and creative cooperation.

Paulus Fugers

E: somos@nullsomos-arts.org
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